You Are A Rotten Sinner; The Schizophrenia Is All in Your Head!

"Though my illness persists, I have finally met the God I had heard about but never truly experienced. A God who heals. A God who loves. A God I cannot logically explain to my psychiatrist. A God who manifests his genius by salvaging good from the evil in our lives. Someone unlike me. Someone unlike the well-meaning inquisitors who judged me and sought to spiritually cure me. Someone I never would have discovered without my affliction."  David Weiss- A Christian who is a schizophrenic.



Pandora's Cluster-Hubble Telescope

Over the last three weeks, TWW has received five unrelated emails, which expressed dismay for the  type of counseling given by churches. A couple of these emails were from former SGM members and the others were from churches that could be defined as heavy handed authoritarian based churches or, as one writer called her church, “an sgm wannabe.”

Before I begin, I want to clarify a few issues.

There are a number of churches, which do encourage their congregation to seek help from well-qualified and trained psychologists and counselors for serious psychiatric problems. This series is not an indictment on them.

Sin does play a role in some psychological manifestations just like sin plays a role in our everyday lives. Obviously, when a man deserts his family, takes up with a new honey and then complains of chronic anxiety, there is reason to point towards his actions.

However, it is important to note that all disease is a by-product of the fall. When my daughter was diagnosed with her brain tumor, I understood that, when all is redeemed, cancer will be a thing of the past. However, although cancer is a direct result of the Fall, we still took her to a neurosurgeon to remove the cancer.

Jesus Himself, dealt with this question. In John 9:1-3, NIV, we read:

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. "

Many of us forget that just a few centuries ago, many illnesses were thought to be caused by demons. We laugh at the naïveté of these primitive people. However, today, there are countless people in the post-evangelical thicket who believe that all mental illnesses are caused by poor upbringing or weak people who are probably hiding some secret sin.

My daughter’s world-class neurosurgeon once confessed to me that he feels like a caveman when he is operating on a child’s brain. He said that we know very little about how the brain functions and likened it to how little we have explored of the universe. So, in his thinking, the complexity of the brain is like the complexity of the universe on a smaller scale.

I think it involves incredible hubris to claim that all or even the majority of mental illness or psychological dysfunction is caused by sin. Not only that, but this sort of counseling actually claims that the person, who is seriously abused and experiences various psychological manifestations, does so because they are harboring sin.

We know of a situation in which a group of young teen boys were seriously and gruesomely molested by a pedophile over a period of time. The consequences to their well-being was devastating. Yet, untrained pastors felt these boys did not need professional counseling, outside of the church, and so they provided the counseling. One boy had a 45-minute session and was deemed “just fine.” (He wasn’t). Another boy had turned to illicit drug usage to dull his pain. One of the leaders asked a boy why he didn’t go to his parents because “surely he knew it was wrong.” Obviously, this coldhearted man was letting the boy know it was his fault for allowing the molestation to continue. You see, the boy was as much of a sinner as the rapist! This is the at the heart of the issue that we will be discussing.

In the meantime, research indicates that certain mental illnesses have a chemical basis. Some of these would include Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. Today’s advanced imaging techniques show distinct brain changes in some of those with mental illnesses.

There are also laboratory tests that show measurable neurotransmitter changes which affect the flow of serotonin and other such substances that affect neurological functioning. Changes in such chemicals can have profound affects on brain functioning. Yet, certain “Christian” therapies would deny this and say that such psychiatric symptoms are merely sin.

Severe abuse, both of children and adults, also tends to cause serious mental health issues. Did sin cause this? Yes, but the effects are those born by the victim. However, this new form of counseling does not recognize the innocence involved in these manifestations of pain.  Such "Biblical" counseling would claim that the victim is “just a sinner.”

Years ago, epilepsy was thought to be caused by demons. Today, we have changed the word “demons” to “sin.” Just like the ignorant people of the past and their flawed view of disease amuse us, my guess is that in the future, if Jesus tarries, our descendents will shake their head at our ignorant presumptions.

Each of those who wrote to TWW expressed a similar theme. Their previous churches did not believe in “psychologists” and employed counseling techniques called Biblical Counseling or Nouthetic Counseling or NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.). I need to make a distinction here. There seems to be a difference in Biblical counseling and NANC terminology. From what I can tell, NANC, the most recognized group within conservative churches believes that "Biblical" (read non-NANC) counselors often employ secular psychological techniques and are, therefore, caving to the sinful beliefs of the psychological establishment. It is important to realize, however, that these two terms for counseling can sometimes be used interchangeably and understandably cause confusion. People need to ask their churches which of these two methods they are using.

As an aside, one counselor that we know tried to join NANC.  They would not let him join because he has an MSW degree and this group believes that such degrees are caving to the system that they are fighting against.

Over at the SGM Survivors blog, we have read comments that, in the past, CJ Mahaney and SGM expressed negativity toward the counseling profession and urged members to stay within the church for their help. I spoke yesterday with a former long-term member of Covenant Life Church (SGM). She said that Mahaney had given a series of talks in which he said that “the therapeutic movement is not consistent with the Gospel.” (Note: once again the word “gospel” is flung around. What do these theological “giants” mean by this word?)

Today many churches are sending members of their congregation to NANC training. One of the people who wrote us said that her church was sending all the church leadership to a weekend to learn to be counselors in this movement. A weekend! He was most disturbed by this,. So, what exactly is Nouthetic counseling?

According to one resource Link here are some beliefs. I am interested in how our readers respond to many of these assumptions. We will be discussing this more in-depth next week.

Apparently, everything that affects out emotional state is cause by sin!

“Psychological counseling often promotes the belief that problems adversely affecting a person’s mental and emotional welfare are determined by circumstances external to the person, such as parental abuse or environment. The Bible tells us that a man’s evil heart and his sinful choices cause his mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23).”

What do they believe about psychotherapy?

"Psychotherapy attempts to improve the self through concepts such as self-love, self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, self-actualization, etc. The Bible teaches that self is humanity’s main problem, not the solution to the ills that plague mankind. And it prophetically identifies the chief solution of psychological counseling, self-love, as the catalyst to a life of depravity. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves… ”(2 Timothy 3:1).”

What is meant by the word “nouthetic?” According to Institute for Nouthetic Studies LINK 

 “Nouthetic” counseling is biblical counseling—it gets its name from the Greek work noutheteo which is usually translated “admonish” (Romans 15:14, NKJV). It means “to confront as a friend” and was the normal method of counseling before modernists invented secular psychology in the early 1900s..

That change gradually came about as the secular psychology influence changed our idea of counseling from that given by a pastor to that given by a secular psychologist.

During the mid-20th century, many Christians thought they could integrate secular theory into their counseling programs, mixing the Bible with psychology. That practice (called “Christian” counseling) was based on the false assumption that man can discover God’s truth apart from the Bible. In the late 1960s, a number of godly pastors saw the need to reject such damaging influences, and one man (Dr. Jay Adams) led the way in bringing biblical counseling back into pastoral ministry."

What is the difference between psychology and Nouthetic counseling? Link (for next two sections)

“While psychology is based on evolution (editor: When in doubt, throw in evolution to really make them upset) and secular philosophy, biblical counseling is based strictly on biblical principles. For counseling to be biblical, it must be Bible-based, Christ-centered, and local church-oriented." 

How does the Bible figure into Nouthetic counseling.

"Nouthetic counseling accepts the premise that the Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and that it is totally sufficient for meeting all our needs (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Nouthetic counseling is a refreshing return to a strictly biblical method of problem-solving. Instead of focusing on the problem and expecting years of therapy, nouthetic counseling focuses on the biblical solution and expects the counselee to change—by the power of the Holy Spirit."

What are the three basic points of Nouthetic counseling?

From the Institute for Nouthetic Studies LINK we learn that Nouthetic counseling embraces three concepts.

"1. Confrontation: We mean that one Christian personally gives counsel to another from the Scriptures. He does not confront him with his own ideas or the ideas of others. He limits his counsel strictly to that which may be found in the Bible, believing that "All Scripture is breathed out by God and useful for teaching, for conviction, for correction and for disciplined training in righteousness in order to fit and fully equip the man from God for every good task." (2 Timothy 3:16,17) The nouthetic counselor believes that all that is needed to help another person love God and his neighbor as he should, as the verse above indicates, may be found in the Bible.

2. Concern: We mean that counseling is always done for the benefit of the counselee. His welfare is always in view in Biblical counseling. The apostle Paul put it this way: "I am not writing these things to shame you, but to counsel you as my dear children." (1 Corinthians 4:14) Plainly, the familial nature of the word noutheteo appears in this verse. There is always a warm, family note to biblical counseling which is done among the saints of God who seek to help one another become more like Christ. Christian

3. Change: We mean that counseling is done because there is something in another Christian's life that fails to meet the biblical requirements and that, therefore, keeps him from honoring God. All counseling — Biblical or otherwise– attempts change. Only Biblical counselors know what a counselee should become as the result of counseling: he should look more like Christ. He is the Standard. Biblical counseling is done by Christians who are convinced that God is able to make the changes that are necessary as His Word is ministered in the power.”

Are any of you concerned yet? Well, let me add more fuel to the fire. Apparently, diseases such as schizophrenia, are caused by sin and must be treated as such. Link

“Schizophrenia, for the distinctively Christian counselor, provides no more or no less of a challenge than any other problem involving original sin, personal sin, and the consequences of both. He believes that the resources provided in the Scriptures, coupled with the power of God through His Spirit, are more than adequate. As the Scriptures themselves put it: "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20b, NASV).”

I now end with a testimony by a Nouthetic counselor who shows a profound ignorance of the complexities involved in diseases such schizophrenia. I found this on a discussion at the blog Musings From a Theo-Greek LINK

“ Dear Theo-Geek,
I am a nouthetic biblical counselor in our church. I am in the NANC certification process, and I would like to comment on this question from "jdray." Following is what I have learned from my studies over the past several years.

ALL of the so called "disorders" that are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual – IV (DSM-IV) are "diagnosed" using only the person's behavior. The DSM-IV is what psychiatrists and psychologists use to diagnose "disorders" and to bill your medical insurance.

Schizophrenia and all other "disorders" listed in the DSM-IV are based solely on behavior.

There is NO blood test for ANY of them. NO chemical imbalance has ever been proven in any of them. They are NOT neurological. They are ALL behavioral. None of them are diseases or illnesses in the medical sense of those words, though the psychiatric and psychological worlds want us to think so.

A great book on this subject is, "The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference," by Dr. Robert Smith. You can find it here ( or less expensively here (

The American Psychiatric Association literally votes to admit new disorders into the DSM-IV. I am told that the DSM-V will include MANY new disorders that the APA has invented. Yes, invented. The drug companies love this because then they have a new disorder to use for marketing their psychotropic drugs.

Occasionally the APA votes to REMOVE some disorders from the DSM. So one year something is a disorder that they medicate you for, charge you for, and bill your insurance, and the next year it's voted as a normal set of behaviors. It is just their opinion on what normal is for a human being. The last normal human being to live was Jesus Christ. He is our model of normal.

There are real illnesses caused by organ malfunctions that result in real, testable, provable chemical imbalances. These real illnesses can change behavior. These illnesses are NOT listed in the DSM-IV because they are true medical problems that medical doctors diagnose with physiological testing, and treat with medication, surgery, and other means.

I have placed "disorder" in quotation marks because while psychiatrists and psychologists call it that, Christians call these behaviors "sin." That might sound callous or even mean to you. Which is more callous or mean? (1) Telling someone they have a disorder for which there is no cure. (2) Telling them they are in sin along with the joyful news that Jesus has forgiveness, and peace of mind, and contentment, and a joyful life for them if they will repent and obey Him! I chose (1) as mean and (2) as kind and true.

Find a nouthetic counselor, and let him or her teach you about your sin and about the complete and holy solution for that sin that Jesus offers.”


Now, to give you an incredibly moving story to read this weekend, please find at Christianity Today LINK a touching article called God of the SchizophrenicRediscovering my faith amid the ravages of mental illness by David Weiss 

David is a schizophrenic who has suffered greatly in trying to overcome this illness. He continues to be afflicted and bravely reveals some of his hallucinations. He writes of his struggles and how he finds God in the midst of this terrible pain. May God convict the misguided judgement of these Nouthetic counselors on men and women like David who strive mightily to hold onto the faith.

I leave you with a quote from David (please, please  read his story):

"I can't fault the ordinary approach—the one taken by Dr. Stanley. Mental illness is a war with many casualties, claiming patients and doctors alike. But a heroic cohort strives to save lives, ease suffering, and thrust light into dark places, bringing into the open afflictions that were once locked away in asylums and sanitariums. Their empathy bears witness to the counsel of the greatest physician of all: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."


We will continue this discussion on Monday.


Lydia's Corner: 1 Kings 22:1-53 Acts 13:16-41 Psalm 138:1-8 Proverbs 17:17-18


You Are A Rotten Sinner; The Schizophrenia Is All in Your Head! — 154 Comments

  1. Excellent article.

    I have more than a little experience with issues of mental health, and also with well-meaning, but ignorant, Christians who think such issues are purely matters of sin and behavior. They often put forth the message that, if Christians just have enough faith, or the right kind of faith, or do this, or don’t do that, all will be emotionally rosy, all the time.

    They rarely realize how their ignorance and insensitivity impact those who are suffering intense emotional pain, and their platitudes and spiritualizing only add feelings of condemnation and isolation on top of emotional agony.

    Because brain-based illnesses typically manifest themselves in emotional and behavioral problems, and because spiritual and sin problems can do likewise, many people assume that there is an automatic “spiritual” cause. (That’s akin to the faulty logic that says since my grass gets wet when it rains, if my grass is wet, it must have rained.) Based on this false premise, they thus prescribe more faith, or more prayer, or more Bible knowledge as the solution, eschewing medical treatments.

    I’ve often said to those who believe this way, “Would you tell a diabetic to pray and meditate on the Bible instead of taking insulin? Would you tell a person with a broken leg that all they need is faith, and not a cast or pain killers?” Granted there are some faith-healing types would would answer such questions, “Yes”, but they are the minority. Yet many Christians who would not hesitate to take Tylenol for a headache would think it anathema to take Prozac for depression.

    You can almost always be certain that those who make glib pronouncements that all you need is more faith, etc. have never suffered with genuine, long-standing brain-based health problems, or intimately known someone who has. If they ever do, they usually change their tune.

    God has interesting ways of teaching us compassion and humility.

  2. Oh I could write an essay on this subject if I wasn’t in the throes of writing a sermon (yes, I am one of those evil woman preachers, even if my denomination won’t ordain me because I’m female) years ago I read Jay Adams’ Competent to Counsel, and was totally horrified by it. Quite apart from genuine psychiatric illness (most of which can be considerably helped by medical means — and yes, this includes depression as well as the more exotic stuff) these guys seem to have completely overlooked one small but kinda vital point — sometimes our distress is caused by other people’s sin!!!! But no, these guys would rather blame the victim. this is doubly ironic because, as the counsellor I saw for a long time for my own abuse issues once told me, in any dysfunctional system (family or institution)it is usually the healthiest person there who feels the distress and comes to get help. So to lay all the blame on them is doubly cruel

    But I have also come up against this on a personal level. When i was dealing with my own abuse stuff, and regularly seeing a qualified counsellor (who was a Christian) I had my then church leaders telling me that I should not be seeing a trained counsellor outside the congregation but should be seeing them instead. (And yes, they had been reading Jay Adams)When I asked them what they knew about XX and YY (naming specific issues I was dealing with) they admitted that they knew nothing about such things, but that was beside the point because they had read the Bible. I pointed out that 1. I had read the Bible too and knew what it said and 2. I preferred to entrust myself to someone who knew what they were talking about. Needless to say it was the beginning of the end of my relationship with that particular church (and leaving them was one of the best things I have ever done)

    Oh and (just to reflect on how “competent” they really were) their diagnosis of the reason my abuse issues were causing me me grief? I was committing the “sin” of not having regimentedly regular quiet times!!

  3. “Psychotherapy attempts to improve the self through concepts such as self-love, self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, self-actualization, etc. The Bible teaches that self is humanity’s main problem, not the solution to the ills that plague mankind. And it prophetically identifies the chief solution of psychological counseling, self-love, as the catalyst to a life of depravity. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves… ”(2 Timothy 3:1).

    Such black & white thinking. Whoever has come up with this seems to have some mental disorder themselves. (wouldn’t they be surprised)

    So much I could say, but I’ll limit it with this:

    it is self-love & self-worth that enables a person to take care of their health, choose to eat nutritious food, take care of their body, have healthy and successful relationships, find ways to be successful in their endeavors, develop their talents and abilities, create, care about people, feel empathy, feel motivation to help and make a difference…

    In short, self-love and self-worth are what enables a human being to live independently, successfully, and to live their life enriching the world rather than being a drain on it.

    I’m so done with over-spiritualizing everything. Especially things like this.

  4. Wow… I could go on and on, too, but will refrain for now.

    Am wondering if the excerpt from the Theo-Geek website could be put into block quotes? am finding it a bit difficult to distinguish where that comment ends and where you pick up in your text, dee…

  5. Lynne

    Thank you for visiting our blog. Yep-the SBC is more afraid of women pastors than pedophiles.

    I am so glad that you were strong enough to stand up to stupidity of the pastors at your former church-smart move making it “former”

    So many pastors know so very little about mental illness and yet make so many claims based on Scripture taken out of context. Good night! I should be a full blown psychotic for missing so many quiet time.s”

    What’s your sermon about?

  6. Stangela said; “Dee, It is all coming together now. Seneca must be the co-founder of NANC !!!”

    Actually, I think Dee wrote a terrific post striving for balance. Kudos!

  7. ‘nother comment —

    I’ve had a generous helping of depression as a result of head injuries…. injuries or not, “the joy of the lord is your strength” is ridiculous advice to someone suffering with depression. Whatever good intentions someone may have in offering this advice in no way mitigates the devastation that will come when the “inspired word of God” and, in fact, God himself prove to be unreliable in this context.

    Considering that a person suffering from depression is hoping against hope for something, anything to grab onto for dear life, this is a most cruel thing to say.

  8. Thanx. I have a degree in theology and all the qualifications for ordination , but … Sydney Anglicans are also horrified by women preachers, and could give the SBC a run for their money (unfortunately) my own pastor is more than happy to give me an occasional preaching gig though. Tomorrow (Sunday, Aussie time) I’m preaching on John 19, the death of Jesus, from the angle that it was according to God’s plan. My applications are a) that God fulfils His word, so we can trust Him that one day all His great promises will come true, and b) that He loves us so much that He planned to die for us way back from the very beginning, and we can really trust love like that

  9. …yet another —

    Medication for depression — sometimes the only link between a person and a shot at happiness and peace. The alternative is a life lived in dark gray tones, left cold, alone & completely untouched by joy or peace ON PRINCIPLE.

    All for the sake of principle.

    As for me, i’m going for happiness, joy, and peace in the natural, and the spiritual as & when the wind blows.

    How dare anyone stand between a person and what could be their only shot at a happy feeling ever. And my meanest laser glare to the person who spiritualizes away a person’s right to “a happy feeling”.

  10. Lynne

    Preach it, sister! Are you familiar with Jill and Stuart Briscoe? Their son, Pete Briscoe, has a full time associate pastor who is a woman. It is at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton , Texas. her name is Joanne Hummel and she preaches there regularly. She might be good a good contact for mutual support. Tell her I said Hi.

  11. Elastigirl

    There are some arrogant preachers who have so badly mishandled people that they have blood on their hands from suicides.

  12. I’m just about trembling with rage in my mind’s eye over said arrogant preachers (too tired to actually do it)

  13. …and more clouds move to the side; the sun, shining a little brighter.

    Hmmm… This statement caused me to put a few things together that didn’t make sense before but is a little clearer now. I shall further investigate.. : “Today many churches are sending members of their congregation to NANC training. One of the people who wrote us said that her church was sending all the church leadership to a weekend to learn to be counselors in this movement. A weekend! He was most disturbed by this,. So, what exactly is Nouthetic counseling?”

    Why did this remind me of something I forgot. Our main counselor of the church would put together sessions about twice a year (not sure exactly) where people would meet and learn to do biblical counseling. Of course, the men and women were separate. The overall goal that was stated was that more members could be prepared to counsel one another and help each other through difficult things, to be equipped to think through circumstances and situations and counsel and pray.

    At the time, I wasn’t really sure but since I had served six years in a ministry that was a counseling ministry, I thought it was time, maybe, to hone in and put those skills to use again. We met once a week with a young woman who was a licensed biblical counselor, member of the church, and she would lead our group.

    Our book: How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul David Tripp. Here’s what Dever had to say about it, ” This book is applied theology. It’s about heat, thorns, the cross, and fruit. It’s about present grace. In sixteen short and well-illustrated chapters, the wonderful prospect of change for the good is held out for the reader. We are called to consider our circumstances and our responses to them, and beneath that to examine our hearts desires and to turn afresh to Christ’s cross. –Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.”

    -So I Google Paul D Tripp, as he has also written Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, which was always highly recommended and also on the book stall. Tonite I have discovered that Tripp is a nouthetic counselor. I might be incorrect, but I do believe that Tripp has either spoken or preached at CHBC earlier this year or at the end of last year.

    This also was part of an effort to increase discipleship amongst members and intentionality (another effing loaded word) in the church community and membership. It was totally voluntary though. Unlike the discipling seminar done about twice a year on an early Saturday morning that is “voluntary” yet each member is highly strongly suggested to attend. If you are a new member, you will get a phone call or an email suggesting that Pastor/Elder Dude highly suggests and thinks you should attend. I got an email, and yes, even though it was voluntary, I didn’t really get the feeling that it was, and I didn’t get the feeling that it would have been appreciated had I not gone. You get me, I’m sure. Nobody was mean or forceful, buy yet, I felt a strong impression that made me uncomfortable enough that I forced myself to attend.

    What I learned? That “it’s nice that we get together and have fun and hang out with each other, but are we sharing the Gospel with one another? Are we being intentional? Are we praying and making our time together matter and is it being well spent.” .

    I was clearly offended when my then buddy, who i didn’t know was drowning in koolaid, told me that she appreciated that we were buds and all and had a great time together, but that we needed to be more intentional about how we spent time together. I was a bit taken back. I didn’t see why our relationship needed to change as in normal life, people do that. Isn’t the fact that I see yalls asses every waking moment of the week serving you, making your damn wedding a blast, helping you move, goijg to bible study, sunday school, morning service, lunch wth you (where we must ALWAYS review the mornings sermon (gags)), evening service, dinner after FREAKING INTENTIONSL ENOUGH for this tiresome stressful elusive ‘gospel’ that nobody and their momma can really define!!!??? WTF!! Seriously??!

    They won’t like anybody saying it, but imma say it: CHBC has more characteristics and practices of the discipleship movement than they’d care to admit. But I’ll be the first. Well. There it is.
    First, I had no idea that this is what I was being trained to do. I didn’t know it had a name and that these beliefs were attached to what we were just told was “biblical counseling.”.

    It seems that the church is trying to equip members to do the job of professional counselors. I find that akin to asking my postman what’s the best way to close up a six inch incision and he gives me some dissertation about hating surgical tape or real sutures, and rejects much of classical medicine for that past umpteen years and tells me that the Bible says I should lay hands on it and the bleeding will stop.

    Scripture was not meant to answer every institution that humanity would discover. The Bible doesn’t tell us how to treat a wound, how to do a chest x-ray or pull a tooth. And just as much as there are spiritual issues that affect the physical body, we do know from classical thought and understanding, as well as modern science that there are physiological issues that exist that aren’t particularly spiritual. Then why would one take some spiritual religious thought and try and shape psychology and psychiatry to fit religion. It makes no sense. All the while, you reject solid thinking, research, and medicine that’s developed over decades or centuries to push your own theological slant???

    In conclusion, I quit that class two weeks in. I recognized early that it was not appropriate or safe. I also recognized the reality that these women were not equipped nor qualified to do what they were being trained to do. I also didn’t feel like sharing private areas of my life-AGAIN-with a bunch of strangers. Many of these so called groups in churches are not firmly established in the parameters or viability of the group to share that type of intimate information without it being a great risk to the person who has made themselves vulnerable about some tender aspect of their lives that needs real and rigid confidentiality, minimal exposure, and real consequences that would encourage fidelity to the vulnerable party.

    Hmmmm…. Thinking some more.

  14. Sorry for weird or misplaced words here and there. These messages are Sent by my iPad. Lol

  15. More thoughts…

    When I was in the charismatic church where I discussed before how we did this prayer ministry that focused on generational curses called Ancient Paths, they also counseled and trained our cell group leaders (this church believed in that whole Government of 12 movement) to do what was called Theophostic counseling. Members of the group would meet with our group leader about twice a month and do Theophostic with her. It was practiced through visualization and prayer where you or the person leading would sense something Jesus wanted to heal, some brokeness or abuse, etc… And you would then pray and invite Jesus into the time and wait for his presence. Once Jesus presence was “felt”, you would visualize what e is doing and saying to you.

    At about four months in I had gone to a Benny Hinn conference with these ladies. I knew that crap was not God and my discernment was throwing red flags all over the place as people were falling out like flies around me. They knew it–they could see ,y discomfort and two others who had joined us. After getting back from the conference, I googled Hinn and a world opened to me that I never heard of before: Christian apologetics.

    I secretly read, cried, studied and prayed for months. I was afraid because I saw Gods word come alive, but the real scary parts regarding deception in the church and I was smack dab in the midde of it. So were an people I loved including my family. The clear understanding of Scriptre became more open to me and the Lord guided much of my independent study and understanding. But I was shook to my core. I was afraid. Afraid for me, for my family, my friends, christened everywhere. My burden was great.

    I began to speak up and was shot down. I lost any very close friends, including my support group and was mostly alone. I suffered a great depression and was generally wanting to die and maybe suicidal. I had loved these women, mostly older than me. I was young and very broken, abused and damaged by my childhood and young adult years, and dysfunctional home. I had always struggled with relational idolatry since i was about 11 because i needed a tangible savior with tangible love and Jesus seemed never to satisfy–not Him alone.

    I had two friends who would listen eventually but first rejected anything I’d say and was angry with me. But God slowly worked in the three of us that we were able to eventually study together. I left the church altogether. This was 2004. I didn’t return to church until 2009.

    I was encouraged that there were people out here who took Gods Word seriously. Considering the damage done to me through charasmania, I went to the other extreme and that’s how I found CHBC. God must have a purpose for allowing me these experiences. Most of it indescribable…

  16. Some info on Theophostic to help.

    Across America and, indeed, the world, a 10-year-old inner healing ministry originating out of Campbellsville, Kentucky, is provoking passionate pro and con pronouncements such as those presented above. Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM) is perhaps the fastest-growing approach to inner healing or healing of memories3 in evangelical churches today, and its use spans almost all denominational lines.
    Founder Ed M. Smith says that Theophostic Prayer Ministries is “primarily a publishing company that produces training materials, books and video tapes for pastors, mental health professionals and lay ministers. We have distribution centers in several foreign countries and have trained people in over 120 countries worldwide.”4 The ministry consistently has sent out about 1,000 training manuals each month for the past several years to people interested in facilitating TPM sessions.5
    Smith holds a doctorate in pastoral ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in education (with a focus in marriage and family counseling) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. After serving for 17 years as a Southern Baptist pastor, he embarked on a full-time counseling practice.
    TPM began in 1996 when Smith reached an impasse in his ability to help adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. He could help them realize intellectually that whatever they experienced in their past was no longer threatening them in their present, but he could not help them to feel that truth emotionally. One night he was driving home from a group session and he cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore.”6 Smith says that in answer to this desperate prayer the Lord opened the Scriptures to him so that he could see that the missing ingredient in his counseling ministry had been the Lord Himself. He had acknowledged God before and after each session, but the sessions themselves did not allow for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Once Smith began to invite Jesus into his sessions, Theophostic Prayer Ministry was born.7 Theophostic is derived from two Greek words that together mean “the light of God.”

    One of the elements that make TPM a strikingly distinct approach to healing emotional pain is the central place facilitators seek to give the Spirit of Christ in the sessions. Even a skeptical observer would have to acknowledge that the sessions proceed as if three parties are involved: the facilitator, the recipient, and Jesus. The role that Jesus is believed to play is better understood in light of the core theory behind TPM.
    TPM is based on the premise that one’s present emotional pain is usually rooted in the past—not in past experiences per se, but in the interpretations one assigns to them. Smith argues that when people are traumatized, Satan, other people, or their own minds often will supply them with a false interpretation of the event. For example, if a young girl is sexually molested by her father, the thought might register in her mind at some point afterward, “You didn’t cry out for help. You must have wanted it. You’re dirty.” Now, as an adult, the molestation survivor is unable to engage in healthy marital relations because of feeling sexually defiled.
    In Smith’s view, emotional pain need not be rooted in severe trauma; it may stem from lesser events such as the harsh or incessant criticism of a parent or teacher, the cruelty of classmates, or the humiliation of a public failure. In other words, not only do the grievously abused possess memories that are based on lies or false impressions (i.e., lie-based), but all of us do, and these are at the root of much of our present pain and irrational, undesirable behavior. Such memories typically recall childhood experiences, but there are exceptions. Whenever a present situation is similar enough to a past traumatic experience, it can trigger that lie-based thinking and our reaction may be out of proportion to the present circumstance. If, for example, a man’s father was constantly critical of decisions he attempted to make on his own, he may lose his temper when his wife innocently asks him what he’s doing because he thinks she’s questioning his judgment.
    Drawing on current brain theory,8 Smith argues that such primal traumatic experiences and their false interpretations are registered in the right side of our brains, while our ability to understand data intellectually and objectively is the function of the left side of our brains.9 He believes this explains why he was having no success convincing adult survivors of sexual abuse that they were no longer in danger: in order to be delivered from the emotional power of those lies, the survivors would need to learn the truth experientially, in a manner similar to how the lies were implanted in their minds.
    Theophostic Prayer Ministry therefore unfolds along the following lines: after receiving the recipient’s permission to do so, the facilitator invites Jesus into the session and asks Him to reveal His truth about the memories that will be brought to mind. The recipient is then asked to try to identify the memory where she (or he) first felt the emotions that are troubling her in the present (e.g., feeling unloved). She does this by closing her eyes and mentally drifting back through time, following the “smoke trail” or “emotional echo” of the pain until she reaches a significant memory that matches the pain (e.g., her single mother turned over custody of her to a resentful aunt in order to pursue a relationship with a man who didn’t want the child). The facilitator encourages the recipient to describe the memory and then to describe how that remembered experience makes her feel (e.g., “I am all alone”). This is where the lie is manifest.
    The facilitator asks the recipient to rate how true the interpretation of the experience she has just described feels to her. If it feels very true, he suspects he may have found the original lie and encourages the recipient to feel and “embrace” that emotional pain. He then asks Jesus what He wants the recipient to know about the memory content she has just surfaced. The recipient waits on Jesus for an answer, and, predictably, a vision, words, or realization will be impressed on her mind. This answer may be biblical truth (e.g., “I will never leave you nor forsake you”) or factual truth (e.g., she might have been deserted as a child, but she now has a loving husband and many caring people in her family and church who are there for her). The facilitator then again asks the recipient whether the previous interpretation of the experience feels true, and, again predictably, it no longer feels true at all. The facilitator keeps the session focused on that memory until the recipient can remember it with “perfect peace” (i.e., with no hint of the emotional pain and conflict previously associated with it).
    If such peace is not achieved, then the facilitator assumes that the original memory or further lies are yet to be uncovered, and the process is repeated through as many memories and lies as necessary for the pain to be completely healed. Smith says that with an experienced facilitator, resolution of lie-based pain in a specific area of memory can usually be achieved in one session, although other lies may need to be dealt with before overall improvement is noted.10
    Smith’s interpretation of what is happening in such sessions is that in the same experiential manner in which the lie was first believed, Jesus now replaces it with His truth. He enters into the recipient’s memory so that she can reexperience the event with Him in the midst of it, giving her a true perspective of what happened: “Jesus brings present-tense experience into a past-tense experience creating a new experience. As a ministry facilitator I cannot do this. I can bring information into a past-tense experience but new data rarely has transforming power in such cases. However, new experience can override old experience.”11 Smith understands this divine action to be the progressive “mind renewal” mentioned in Romans 12:2 and related passages, and he believes it plays a central role in the sanctification process (a view I will critique in part two).
    Smith says that people who go through this process are healed in the area of their emotional lives that Jesus touched. If a situation similar to the original one now comes up, it no longer triggers the same irrational and harmful emotional reactions. He further maintains that this healing is both lasting and maintenance free for a wide variety of emotional and behavioral problems, including depression, general anxiety, anger issues, phobias, panic attacks, sexual addiction, and eating disorders. Recipient and facilitator testimonials in support of these claims abound in TPM literature, on the Internet, and during TPM events.

  17. I suspect there are some excellent, SPIRITUALLY GIFTED counselors among the NANC ranks. I’m also quite sure that everybody who takes NANC training is NOT spiritually gifted to counsel and yet all can benefit from greater familiarity with the Word of God and sharing of those Scriptures with people in pain.

    I do think in our world there is a strong tendency to over diagnose and over medicate. If 1,000 have read this post, 333 of you are “bipolar.”

    Then most of us know, medication is a two-edged sword. I am thankful for common grace which has given us modern meds. But let us also acknowledge medication’s limits; particularly psych meds.

    I think it was Winston Churchill who called his own depression, “The black dog of despair.”

    We live in a fallen world, we are fallen people. Trust in the Living God is our only hope. Sen

  18. “Yesterday, child psychiatrist Dr. William Ayres, former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was arrested on multiple counts of sexually abusing children. Dr. Ayres has a long and distinguished history as an expert in child psychiatry. In 2002 he was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his work by the Bay Area commission on children and families. He has continued seeing young patients for the county until as recently as 2003, despite complaints of abuse going back to 1987:”

  19. After a car wreck in which I suffered a broken neck and nerve damage to my right arm, I was being treated by a neurologist. The first pain management medication I was on made it impossible for me to think clearly enough to write. The second caused some serious side effects, one of which I will live with for the rest of my life. I became severely depressed, could not rest for the pain, etc. In the meantime, two friends, one a business acquaintance and the other an older member of our church, came to me, separately, and said that they could see that I was not myself and they were concerned about me. One recommended a Christian psychologist who also did pain management through hypnosis.

    The psychologist, a former SBCer and now Disciples (I call him my Christian Christian Psychologist), treated the pain with post-hypnotic suggestion and taught me how to self-hypnotize to re-up the effect. He also helped me with the depression and some relationship issues that had arisen out of the pain (causing a flash temper and anger) and depression, in part through talk and in part through hypnosis.

    So in my case, the medical treatment of the depression was unnecessary, because it was sourced in physical pain, but the treatment was more than and other than prayer.

    Now, years later, I can still get relief from pain and worry through self-hypnosis by thinking of a particular visual stimulus and imagining the sensations of being in that place. Really effective for insomnia, btw.

  20. Bipolar, previously known as manic-depressive illness, is often successfully treated with lithium salts. Lithium is a metallic element. The treatment has been around for some time. There are few side effects. In the 1970s, Norman Lear, a TV producer of popular shows, did a series on Maude about manic-depressive illness and arranged with the American Psychological Association and the parallel psychiatric association to have PSAs following one of the shows that referred people to an 800 number for more information and potential sources of services in their area. He received a number of awards for that. He did it because of his personal experience with family and friends who had dealt with this illness less than successfully without medication.

  21. Lithium toxicity is always a concern.
    “In long-term use, therapeutic concentrations of lithium have been thought to cause histological and functional changes in the kidney. The significance of such changes is not clear, but is of sufficient concern to discourage long-term use of lithium unless it is definitely indicated” Wiki

    :A patient was prescribed lithium; the psychiatrist directed the patient to his primary care physician (PCP) for routine lithium level and renal function tests. Test results were sent directly from the lab to the PCP and to the psychiatrist. This went on for many months. Believing that the PCP would be responsible for acting on abnormal test results, the psychiatrist instructed her staff to file the test results in the patient’s chart as soon as the results arrived without reviewing them. The PCP never notified anyone of the patient’s declining renal function. Eventually the patient was admitted to the hospital for renal failure and required a kidney transplant. The patient is suing the psychiatrist who prescribed the lithium.”

    When it comes to psych meds; caveat emptor

  22. Listen, y’all are being ridiculous! The guy quoted above was about to get certification and had been studying this for a couple of years! Obviously, we should stop and listen and submit to his expertise.


  23. Not unique to churches apparently…this morning on the web a story was reported from Missouri. A young girl complained to school officials that she hap been raped by a boy in school. The school decided that the complaint was not credible and made the girl write an apology letter to the boy (without the girls parents knowledge) then suspended her for a period of time, the girl apparently unable to sleep at night out of fear, finally was allowed to return to school, where, as you might expect, the boy once again dragged her to the some dark corner and raped her again.

    This time, she was taken to a public health facility where they determined that a sexual assault had taken place…the boy was arrested and later confessed….now, here’s the unbelievable part…

    As a result of being raped the school once again suspended her. When asked by press (and parents I would assume), why the girl was suspended..their answer… “Public display of affection”!

  24. I have been looking into Nouthetic counseling for a few years now. It is what is being promoted at SBTS. Jay Adams, of the church discipline fame, is a huge promoter of it.

    My question is this. How would a Nouthetic counselor handle a victim of sexual molestation where the victim (family since the victim is often a child) and perp were both in the church.

    Answer: See sgmsurvivors and stopbaptistpredators for an idea of how it is handled.

    How would the Nouthetic counselor “admonish” the victim? To instantly forgive and not report it to police?

    I think Nouthetic experts need to take a look at the “practice” of their craft in some of these churches.

  25. Long time lurker, first time commenter.

    Lots of stories I could tell; you suffer with depression for twenty-odd years, you end up with stories.

    Yet somehow with all of the Christian counseling, “prayer counseling”, breaking spiritual bondage, “renouncing familial curses”… It took a two years of on-off sessions with a qualified psychologist before the root was uncovered.

    With all those Christian counsellors who were “hearing from God”, I wonder why he never told any of them.


    Anyway, I wonder what Nouthetic counseling would make of my son’s Asperger’s syndrome. There’s no chemical test. It’s all behavourial.

    And “Biblical” discipline? How do you get THAT to work with a child who struggles to connect cause and effect?

    Anyway, I could rant on this topic for a long post, but I think I’ll just re-lurk for now.

  26. Jay Adams material was, unsurprisingly, popular in the Shepherding movement of the 1980’s. The Nouthetic approach found its way to Northern Ireland and used on us guinea-pigs.

    Avoid at all costs!

    The Eastern Orthodox have a better take on ‘sin’ – it’s a dysfunction not a moral failure that needs punished.

    I believe some of the saner Mine Body Spirit folk have a better take on healing, both physical and psychological than most Christians. Sad but true.

    By the way I speak as one who retired early from teaching as a result of an ‘anxiety disorder’.

  27. The brain is an organ. Sometimes organs malfunction, and sometimes, we are given an organ that doesn’t work all that well. Some physical conditions actually cause depression and then that chronic depression causes other health conditions because the brain is the master regulator of health.

    I like Daniel Amen’s analogy (he’s a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and he’s also an expert in the latest technology in brain imaging, and he is born again and attends an Assemblies of God church). He says that religion and what has been called “nouthetics” here is like the software on a computer. But the brain is the hardware upon which the software operates. You would not expect your software to work if you didn’t have the hardware to support it or if the hardware was damaged or malfunctioning.

    I wonder if nouthetic counselors and religion only counselors know that coffee affects the brain just like certain medications do. We can now do brain imaging that shows that it works like a drug. So do some foods. Nuts, for example, affect blood flow to many organs, especially the brain, so much so that when I worked where we monitored plastic surgery flap graft tissue reconstruction, our patients had to observe a strict diet so as not to affect the graft. Headache patients should also avoid peanuts and seeds liek pumpkin and sunflower because of their direct effect on blood flow. Lots of medicines for other conditions and body symptoms have similar direct effects on the brain, just like medications that are meant to treat the brain.

    So I wonder if SGM leadership is going to stop hanging out at Starbucks? Somehow I doubt it.

  28. Dylan,

    Here’s another idea…”sin” is a non existent entity, a word designed and defined specifically to place all humans into a single box, and then used by those in authority to make those under them feel ashamed, guilty, unworthy, in need of help, etc.

    There is only what society defines as acceptable and non-acceptable behavior. Those who fail to follow those guidelines are either incapable (dysfunctional as you put it), or unwilling (they need to either look for a different society/culture or if they persist, be treated as dysfunctional in some sense).

    The biblical concept of humans having a sinful nature is nothing more then the observation of normal human behavior and then, after the fact, assigning some of those natural behaviors as evil and then declaring triumphantly that humans are obviously broken because they can’t help sinning!

    This is tantamount to spending a year observing lions in the wild, then arbitrarily deciding that eating meat is a sin and subsequently proclaiming that all lions are obviously incapable of not sinning and hence broken and in need of help!

  29. Dylan, you wrote:

    I believe some of the saner Mine Body Spirit folk have a better take on healing, both physical and psychological than most Christians. Sad but true.

    I agree.

    Both my husband and I suffer with chronic pain conditions, though mine are not remotely as difficult as his. He suffers terribly and from too young of an age.

    Anyway, about a dozen years ago, we went to a pain clinic to have scar tissue burned away (the tissue infiltrates with nerves that do nothing but cause pain, so they burn those nerves). To save money, we had joint sessions with the counselor there, something that was a mandatory part of the program.

    That therapist told us that our religion was causing our pain, and it took me several years to understand what he was saying. (He stated it poorly and was unfamiliar with the tenets of our faith, but I was familiar enough with his belief system to be able to figure it out.) Self-condemnation was a part of our belief system at that time, something very much like the “sin sniffing” that takes place at SGM. We had to get through some of our own healing from trauma before we understood what he meant. We were both restrained by religion and upbringing to express anger and disappointment in a healthy way so we morphed it into pain and disease (somatic illness). The noutheic approach actually made these physical conditions worse.

    Both my husband and I had to work through our past traumas, and much of that was a physical healing that came through the therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing which allows the brain to heal itself. (My therapist was in her late sixties at the time, she attends an SBC church, she is a graduate of Moody and of Concordia, and she is seriously conservative as a Christian. Nothing oogey woogey about or in her work.)

    Anyway, I appreciate your comment.

  30. Nouthetic counseling is just another form of spiritual abuse. The movement may have started out with good intentions, but has become another man-made counseling model now in the hands of spiritual authority figures.

    It is interesting to note that all NANC counselees are given a time frame for their healing- 1 hour per week for 8-12 weeks(sounds like my chiropractor), given the same books by their counselors to read (including CJ Mahaneys The Cross Centered Life), regardless of what problem they may have, and told what scriptures, chosen by the counselor, to read and memorize. Counselees are also given a “to do” list for the week which includes acts of service. I fail to see how focusing on this would help say, a trauma survivor or someone in a broken marriage. I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit worked in that way.

    Nouthetic counseling could be re-named “Saved by grace but sanctified through my own efforts”.

  31. Cindy–

    Wht was that like, the therapy? What were your symptoms at first and what changes ad healing occurred?

  32. NANC appears to take a cognitive behavioral approach though they would not call it by that terminology.

    Cognitive: change your thinking through the use of Scriptures.
    Behavioral: change your behavior by practicing new behaviors (such as in couples therapy having the couple set up a date night, things like that. Much like what is suggested in a lot of marriage counseling.)

    I would think there are some excellent, experienced NANC counselors who would know how to handle things like Aspergers and other things.

    NANC is also more open to meds than they were 30 years.

  33. “NANC is also more open to meds than they were 30 years.”

    If NANC doesn’t believe in taking meds for themselves, then who are they to tell someone else if it is right or not?

  34. J Terry
    It is interesting that they use CJ Mahaney’s book-The Cross Centered Life. You should read Deb’s review on it. That books emphasizes man innate sinful nature and only the leaders have a way of getting around its pervasiveness so they can tell everybody else how rotten they are. This stuff is sick. It places the victim on the same level as the abuser. It also ignores the very real issue of actual mental illnesses that are not based in the willing sinful state of the one who suffers. This is the philosophy of buck up and man up and stop the nonsense which is based in a rugged individualism that is the opposite of the Christian faith. Shame on those who heap pain on those who suffer.

  35. Seneca

    And how many jailed pastors are there for doing the same thing?

    Of course there are misdiagnosed bipolars. However, there are misdiagnosed cancers, heart disease , etc. HJust because some are misdiagnosed does not mean that it does not exist. This is the basis of nouthetic apology. Too many bipolars mean the whole system is corrupt. There are wonderful, careful practitioners out there who judiciously use these diagnosis. I have seen people in a manic state who are successfully diagnosed, put on lithium and go on to lead productive, happy lives.

    As for lithium toxicity, there are tons of medicines on the market that cause health problems. Good practitioners monitor for side effects and know how to titrate dosages, etc. Nouthetic counseling totally rejects this stuff much to the shame of the proponents who are practicing junk science based on a wooden literal translation of the Bible which is then misapplied and harms people.

    I plan to do a post in which i will argue that the earth is fixed in position and will “prove” it by the Bible. It is my shot at stupid literalism

  36. Dee, “bipolar” has been the mental dx dejour for the last 2 decades (along with ADHD for 75 percent of the 6 year old male populations – dryly). I do think they are over diagnosed – my personal opinion.

    I do believe Lithium has helped stabilize a lot of people, I would disagree with ARCE that Lithium is relatively harmless – as compared to other drugs. That’s why psychiatrist who prescribe Lithium are always doing toxicity tests.

    “Nouthetic counseling totally rejects this stuff” – Dee I’m not sure that they ALL do however. I suspect you’d be hard pressed to find in any NANC literature where they tell clients to quit the meds their physicians/psychiatrist are prescribing. If the client wants to get off meds, that would be something else but are NANCians telling people to ignore their physicians? I’m kinda of doubting that. That would be an excellent way to get sued.

  37. NLR

    Thank you for your honesty. I am in the middle of preparing a talk to a bunch or medical/dental students for tonight and am under the gun. I will respond more in depth to your heartfelt post by tomorrow.

  38. Of course they don’t TELL counselees to quit their meds, but it is implied that they should. It’s very frowned upon, and that is the subtle power of spiritual abuse.

  39. Seneca

    There have been some lawsuits directed at churches which did advise people to stop meds/counseling and said person committed suicide.

    Of course Nouthetic counselors would not say to stop meds already started. They would be accused of practicing medicine and would be subject to legal action. However, if said patient were to see them first, I would be willing to bet they would be urged not to use meds. Even then. they are playing with fire.

    Also, there will be subtle pressure in the counseling to rethink the whole paradigm of using meds.

  40. @ NLR (and everyone else): Theophostic “counseling” sounds suspiciously like what was promoted by Agnes Sanford in the early 1970s. She was a big favorite of many in the charismatic (morphing into discipleship) movement at that time.

    I had a copy of her book at one time, but it’s long gone. If you want to get a copy try here. (It’s still in print – gah!!!)

  41. Oh, and… Sanford wrote a number of other books that seem to have played a big part in the whole “recovered memories” trend that was big (and not just in charismatic church circles) during the 80s and 90s.

  42. @ Dee: Derek Prince’s book on blessings and curses is (imo) important for understanding the whole “generational curses” thing.

  43. Here’s the blurb from the back of one of Prince’s “blessings or curses” books (there are several):

    “Are you or your family experiencing repeated sickness or accidents? Do you feel under mental, emotional or financial pressure much of the time? Are your closest relationships in turmoil? Do you wonder why success comes easily to others but seems to elude you?

    Bible teacher Derek Prince shows how the forces behind blessings and curses might be at work in your life. Drawing from God’s Word and real-life experiences, Prince will help you understand the causes of curses–occult activity, hidden sin, abuses, abandonment, even sin from a previous generation–and teach you how to be set free from curses, so you can start enjoying the benefits of God’s blessings.

    More than 1.6 million readers have received life-transforming spiritual insight from this groundbreaking book. In this expanded edition, each chapter is followed by a study lesson–for yourself or for a small group–with review questions, a life application section and a memory verse.

    With Derek Prince’s help, you can experience freedom from problems that have frustrated you for years and enjoy the destiny God has planned for you.”

    Big, big deal in charismatic and discipleship circles.

  44. Lin “So, how would nouthetic counseling (admonish) help a child rape victim of a “Christian”?”

    Very carefully.

    Certainly they would never purposely violate the laws of the land.
    I would also think there would be plenty of consultation. Tricky business these issues even for the “pros.”

  45. Seneca, Nouthetic means “admonish”. So how would you admonish a child who has been raped by a professing Christian?

    The whole concept of the counseling as taught by them is about a person’s sin. How did the child sin by being raped?

  46. Seneca, Just answer the question:

    “Nouthetic means “admonish”. So how would you admonish a child who has been raped by a professing Christian?”

    Seneca, there are a ton of dumb things going on in Christendom. Please answer the question.

  47. I’m sorry Lin. Can’t imagine them “admonishing” a child for having been raped.

    I wouldn’t necessarily confuse the theory with how they actually treat people, particularly children.

    Like I said, I suspect they would be extraordinarily careful OR send the child elsewhere. Even I, who am not particularly a fan of NANC don’t think they are that stupid.

    They have been around since the 70’s. I suspect there has been a significant evolution in how they approach different counseling issues.

    Again, don’t confuse theory with action – particularly in the case of a child.

  48. Bruno Bettelheim; world famous psychologist
    “Former Patients Described Bettelheim’s Sexual Abuse in Detail

    Barbara Kojak, an ex-patient interviewed by Richard Pollak for his 1996 biography, The Creation of Dr. B, quoted Bettelheim’s justification for his treatment of her and other teenage girls at the Orthogenic School: “I beat you because I love you.”

    His dubious love also expressed itself by touching Kojak’s breasts and fondling her under a blanket. “I began to wear underwear to bed because I didn’t want Dr. B to touch me. Not that it always worked,” Kojak, whose parents died in concentration camps, told Pollak.

    Bettelheim was a master of self-invention, a polite term for pathological liar. His résumé hadn’t been inflated; it had been fabricated by a clever monster who tricked the world into sharing Bettelheim’s fantasies about his education and accomplishments.”

  49. Seneca, why would they send the child elsewhere? This contradicts what the NANC position is, that scripture (how they interpret it) is sufficient for EVERYTHING that we are to believe and how we are to live.

  50. I did not say harmless. I did say that side effects are few. That is true. Dose has to be titrated for the patient, with blood tests to see if the dose if producing a therapeutic level in the body, and not too high of a level. The most dangerous side effect is kidney toxicity, which is true of lithium (also most other salts, sugars, starches — they convert to sugars, most metals, most halogens, etc., etc.,). Failure to monitor for titration and toxicity to the specific patient is malpractice, pure and simple.

  51. “Bettelheim was a master of self-invention, a polite term for pathological liar.”

    Self-invention — sounds like Ergun Caner.

  52. Bettelheim, IIRC, coined the term “refrigerator mother”. His theory was that autism was caused by a cold, rejecting, unnurturing mother–a belief still held by some as late as the early 1980’s. Fortunately, when my son was diagnosed, they took care to say that no one knew what caused it.

  53. “Jay Adams material was, unsurprisingly, popular in the Shepherding movement of the 1980′s. The Nouthetic approach found its way to Northern Ireland and used on us guinea-pigs.”

    Jay Adams’ book, Competent to Counsel, was popular in the Crossroads/Boston Movement of the 1970’s and ’80s. This movement grew out of the Churches of Christ and was greatly influenced by the shepherding movement.

  54. “Again, don’t confuse theory with action – particularly in the case of a child ”

    So then, we agree this sort of counseling does not work in many situations people seek for counseling. problem is, it is being taught in many seminary’s. I know SBTS is immersed in it. This is what future pastors and staffers are learning is the “biblical” way to counsel.

    SGM uses this “theory”…and why they tell the victims family not to call the police and work this out “inhouse” according to “scripture”. When they found out one of their teen boys had molested a little girl, they told the mom and dad: Today you have the opportunity to forgive. he was just experimenting.

    So much for theory in praxis.

  55. I’m quite sure SBTS is NOT telling its students that they shouldn’t call the police in case of child abuse.

    I’m quite sure NANC is not instructing its student to avoid calling the police in case of child abuse.

    Are there situations where church boards are not calling the police? I’m sure there still are and always will be.

    But Christian schools/seminaries and counseling organizations are surely not instructing their students to break the law.

  56. “For we do not wrestle against the flesh and blood that sit in the pews, but against the church rulers, against the church authorities, against the church powers over this present darkness, against the church’s spiritual forces of evil in the high and mighty places.”

    Eph 6:12 (My New Revised Paraphrased Edition)

  57. Bettelheim was recognized as an abuser. Some of his writings contain good ideas, other ideas were rapidly disregarded, and his abuse, as it became known in the academic community, led to his worked being questioned and much of it discarded.

  58. Seneca, One would think professing believers would have a higher standard of behavior than those in the world. But they seem to hate victims, too. Like you do. And I say that based upon your chilling comments over at sgmrefuge when we are discussing things like 3 year old girls being molested by 16 year old teens and how it was handled by sgm (he was just ‘experimenting’). Or a member father raping his daughter then the mom being told to get rid of the daughter he was attracted to so he could be “head” of the family. Then when she files against him, sgm pays his legal fees. You came on with some very nasty comments about these victims. Your heart is hard. Beware.

  59. I’m quite sure SBTS is NOT telling its students that they shouldn’t call the police in case of child abuse.

    I’m quite sure NANC is not instructing its student to avoid calling the police in case of child abuse.

    Are there situations where church boards are not calling the police? I’m sure there still are and always will be.

    But Christian schools/seminaries and counseling organizations are surely not instructing their students to break the law.”

    Seneca, You need to spend some time in study over at Cindy’s undermuchgrace site. You understand nothing about how these systems work. Perhaps you would rather not understand.

  60. By the way I have made NO comments about any victims, particularly of SGM ministries. (Let’s not slander me unnecessarily)

    I have spoken against the victimization culture.

  61. The victimization culture is what happens when an inconvenience or a slight is treated as a victimization of a person who fees inconvenienced or slighted. It is not at all related to the phenomena associated with those who have been traumatized by rape, sexual abuse, assault, etc. Example: Many Christian organizations feel victimized because they are not allowed to pray in the name of Christ over the loudspeaker system at the high school football game, when they are the dominant culture in the country. However, the Sikh who is beaten or shot because people think he is a Muslim is a true victim, as would be a Muslim attacked because he is a Muslim.

  62. Seneca, Did your mom allow to you plead that little bobby was worse than you when you got caught doing something bad? Because that is exactly what you are doing here concerning the topic.

    And your dissing victims comments of sgm pastoral “care” is exactly what I said above. You just cannot see it. You have made idols of celebrity Christians and their culture. You just cannot see it.

    Again, How does a nouthetic counselor deal with a victim of sexual abuse? Admonish their sin?

  63. “However, the Sikh who is beaten or shot because people think he is a Muslim is a true victim, as would be a Muslim attacked because he is a Muslim.”

    And the victims of the Twin Towers were real victims.

  64. Lin,

    I’ve read plenty of blogs and do not agree with their perspective. I used to post a rare thought provoking comment, but I no longer even bother doing that. It’s rather like going into someone’s living room and misbehaving, so I don’t do that anymore, believing before that I could be an agent of change. Even when I did go into territory where I had no history and didn’t share the perspective of those commenting, I did not demean or denegrate the ideas of those who did participate there.

    Seneca’s behavior here is now quite old and predictable. He has to urinate on everything, just to let us poor saps know that he thinks he’s important. What I wonder is whether he is unaware that he’s behaving this way or whether he thinks it’s appropriate to behave this way.

  65. Numo

    I knew of the theophostic movement but totally forgot about it. The recovered memory movement brought out more false memories than true, I believe.

  66. Numo

    I believe the generational curses is a misunderstanding of the portion of Scripture that is used to build a theology upon. If one is raised in an alcoholic home, one has a much higher risk o developing a problem with substance abuse. This is modeling not cursing. Depression runs on families-once again, this is modeling, not cursing and may have some genetic stuff thrown in. The only curse we bear is the curse of the Fall and Jesus has paid the price and one day all will be free.
    Thanks for reminding me about this. It may be worth discussing in this series.

  67. Seneca

    I so not think Lin was talking about reporting-that is assumed if churches believe in following the law which some don’t seem to care about.

    How anyone could pin the word “sin” onto the child who was raped is beyond me?!

  68. Seneca
    Lin asked you a direct question and did not call people dumb-don’t obfuscate. Although, if I were to be truthful-anyone who calls a raped child sinful for experiencing PTSD has to have something wrong with their hearts or heads.

  69. Seneca

    Nope-many churches into this stuff do NOT send the child off for counseling. I aw this in a large SBC church recently.

  70. Tina

    These folks would eschew all use of “secular” help believing that the Bible is sufficient for treating such things. Yet these are the first people to land at the doctor’s office with chest pain. And they couldn’t care less that the stent they receive was invented by a secularist. Guess the Bible is not all sufficient, after all.

  71. Tina

    I have friends who have children who are autistic and those mothers are awesome as I bet you are. Some day, I predict they will discover a cure for this. My prayers are with you.It is a long journey.

  72. Lin

    I had a chance, last evening, to talk to the very Christian head of a Department in Psychiatry in one of the leading universities in the world about Nouthetic counseling. He shook his head and said that this stuff is off base.

  73. Seneca

    Of course they are not saying to break the law. They are not stupid as you have so kindly pointed out. They say things in different ways. Did you know that, in North carolina, pastors are not required to report child abuse-sexual or otherwise? So, they do not have to report it nor do the parents. So, they can encourage people not to report child abuse and be very legal. How nice. The pastors of one church followed the law by not reporting it.

  74. Seneca

    And then there was Andrea Yates who as not a psychiatrist who killed her kids. There are crazy people in all professions, including the pulpit of some evangelical churches.

  75. Dee; “Although, if I were to be truthful-anyone who calls a raped child sinful for experiencing PTSD has to have something wrong with their hearts or heads.”

    I’m kinda confused about the attack. Raped children are not a fault for being raped, but at a deeper theological level, we’re ALL sinners regardless.

    To suggest I implied that a child became a sinner because they were raped is simply wrong.

    Neither have I suggested that PTSD is a result of sin.

    I really don’t know where you are getting this from.

    I believe that depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias can all be a part of our genetic inheritance or learned from our family or experiences or just simply a result of having been born into a sinful/broken world.

    To suggest that I have implicated the child ( or any child for that matter) in their rape is simply untrue. My goodness. Obviously people don’t read my post CAREFULLY.

  76. Seneca
    I am beginning to think you are schizophrenic. At first you said you liked this post and now you are going out of your way to “prove” that psychiatrists are nuts. There are nutjobs in every profession you can imagine. In NC we had some MD guy injecting patients with urine to cure cancer. I have a gazillion stories like that. Are you sure oncolgists do anything worthwhile?

  77. Arce
    Thank you for parsing the idea of the “victimization culture.” I really liked your example.

  78. Seneca
    I have been reading your comments carefully. Could it be that you are not communicating in a way that makes it clear to others?

    You seem to be arguing for the veracity of Nouthtic counseling. Nouthetic counseling upholds that all psychological problems are due to active sin in the victim’s life. Therefore, PTSD would be seen as sinful.

    As for all men being sinners, that is so elementary that I didn’t think I needed to bring it up. That is why Jesus died. Do I need to say that Jesus forgives us as well?

  79. Dee, I’ll try again. Personally, I’m not a fan of nouthetic counseling or Jay Adams. I do have a couple of friends who ARE nouthetic counselors; pretty sane people actually.

    While individual nouthetic counselors may says stupid things, I seriously doubt nouthetic counseling would blame a child for being raped.
    I have found that Nouthetic couseling, these days, pays much more attention to physiological issues as being the basis of some emotional issues.
    SOME nouthetic counselors think meds can be used, others don’t.

    All nouthetic counselor believe Scripture gets to the heart of humanity and our struggles. How they go about communicating that to their counselees is probably much influenced by their own personality.

    I was given the opportunity to pursue training in nouthetic counseling but turned it down. Didn’t think it would work with my perspective.

    BTW, did you not see, early in the comments, that I thought you did quite a masterful job on the post. Sen

  80. Dee–

    I forgot to respond yesterday. Take your time. It’s no rush. How did your talk go?

  81. Seneca
    I did see it that is why I was saying you sounded schizophrenic.

    If you read the Nouthetic literature, sin is blamed for everything, even the victim’s response. So, if your nice friends believe in meds, they are not doing nouthetic counseling, they are doing their own thing.

  82. Lin, I agree that the 9/11 victims were real victims. However, that is not at all related to what I wrote. Among the victims who were in the Towers and died that day were a substantial number of Muslims, too, as were Muslims on the airplanes who were not part of the terrorists.

    So what did 9/11 have ANYTHING at all to do with my example?

  83. @ Arce: YES on your example of victimization! I know someone who was physically attacked (in the UK) on 9/11, simply for looking like herself. (She is from northern Sudan and is “Arab,” though I’m sure she has other ancestry as well.) It was a completely unprovoked attack, as were the attacks of Sikhs (mostly on the West Coast) and others post-9/11.

    And yes, there were people of many faiths (and no faith at all) in the towers, as well as at the Pentagon and the buildings in the flight paths of the jets + the folks on the plane that crashed in PA.

    I felt sick reading about the poison-pen letters and horrible phone calls (death threats) made in the D.C. area after 9/11 – in one case, a 5-year-old child answered the phone and the “adult” made a death threat anyway. (The child is part of an Afghan refugee family that owned a restaurant in the D.C. area; other restaurant owners were subject to the same things…)


    @ Dee: I think NLR was the one who raised the whole “theophostic” deal; it really seems like the same thing that Agnes Sanford got going, back in the late 40s – and she was still at it 30+ years later. *Not* good, on the whole, though I think there’s a “read between the lines” quality to some of her stuff. (Meaning that there’s a little good, but I’m not sure how much – it’s been ages since I last picked up one of her books, and I think my copies went into a dumpster along with all my Ft. Lauderdale Five magazines back in the late 70s!)

    You’ve gotta read Prince on blessings/curses. The blurb I posted makes him sound like a prosperity/name it and claim it type, but he wasn’t really into that. I think his misinterpretation of Scripture wasn’t intended to make money for himself or to harm anyone – he truly believed in it, and he was by no means a flashy kind of guy. (Very English; quite decorous and polite.)

    *But* it all seeped into the groundwater of the charismatic/nascent discipleship movement and… poisoned everything.

    Agreed on so-called “recovered memories” as well as on the misunderstanding of both behavior (nurture) and genetics/biology/biochemistry (nature) in these kinds of faulty views of human problems, mental and physical illness. The hyperspitualization of *everything* resulted in looking for demons under teacups (not my phrase; it’s an old on from the 70s).

    You might need to check out Don Basham’s books on “deliverance” to get the full picture re. Prince’s blessings/curses ideas, since they were working together as the Ft. Lauderdale 5 at the time.

    fwiw… back in the 90s, several people in the church that booted me kept trying to convince me that I *must* have been molested as a child. I kept saying No, nothing like that EVER happened to me! and they would just NOT drop the subject. (They were very much into recovered memories at the time.) ONe of these people is… the “pastor’s” wife. (Married to the guy who booted me.)

    I kept trying to explain to this woman that what I had already told her (about some difficult things that I encountered as a teenager) was *all* there was to what she claimed to be “discerning,” but sheesh! It’s maddening to have someone keep hammering away at the truth you’re telling to them.

    I finally had to just ignore her insistent demands that I join a group for survivors of sexual abuse (run by some guy who was probably a card-carrying member of the nouthetic set). I’m sure she saw me as rebellious or in denial or whatever… which all filtered through to her husband’s view of me.

    I guess some people will just refuse to see the obvious even when it’s right in front of them!

    [/rant over, for now ;)]

  84. NLR:

    I just saw your question about what Eye Movement Desensitzation and Reprocessing from the other day. I’ll try to be concise.

    Essentially, during trauma especially and during depression, you become overwhelmed by emotions and you wall off those emotions. Physiologically, this means that different areas of your brain that should work at the same time and as an integrated whole start all doing their own thing to protect you and to protect you from overwhelm. Your more rational/analytical left cerebral hemisphere stops informing the Right and vice versa, almost dividing the mind, and these higher brain functions stop working well (usually followed by deficits of dopamine and norepinephrine). The cingulate gyrus, the area that helps your mind switch gears, stops working optimally at the same time that the limbic system which governs emotion starts to become a bit overactive, and this depletes serotonin (which makes you happy). The part of your brain that takes in encouragement also reflexively shuts down almost completely, and good things stop seeming like they apply to you. In fact, instead of taking in encouragement, it is processed more like a threat. And in the deepest level of the brain, the survival instincts which exist to help preserve your life go into overdrive and do not shut off. The trauma or the emotional event gets processed by the amygdala and then if the trauma or event does not result in a good outcome, it tends to get processed in the wrong part of the basal ganglia, and that part of the brain becomes easily triggered and chronically overactive. The imbalance of neurotransmitters follows suit. In trauma, the higher brain functions do not work and cannot work physiologically, and inducing shame by telling a client that they are rejecting God’s promises only intensifies the trauma.

    On SPECT studies (very sensitive tomographic blood flow studies of the brain), researchers have demonstrated that these reflexive changes occur and that certain therapies and medications help restore normal balance, blood flow and then function. EMDR taps into not only the effect of bilateral stimulation to force the right and left sides of the cerebral hemispheres to work together, it also accesses the only natural means of soothing the basal ganglia and the amygdala – by stimulating felt sense. Therefore, anything like EMDR (moving both sides of the body while thinking about how the body feels) stimulates the medial prefrontal cortex of the cerebrum and helps access this healing effect. There are also fibers that run back into the cerebellum which governs movement which are involved in healing trauma. And many of these innervations come together in the midbrain near the caliculi, possibly mediating part of this healing effect.

    In therapy, clients identify positive and negative beliefs associated with an unpleasant feeling, and they are rated by Volition of Cognition and how intense they feel. If I was unsafe, my negative belief might be that I am always in harm’s way every minute of the day and trauma is just a breath away because I am in a state where my physiologic survival traits are all engaged. The positive belief that the client works with the therapist to identify might be that there are no guarantees in life, but the client can and should feel reasonably safe and should not fear annihilation at every moment. Then, while the client is coached and guided to experience the emotions they feel, some type of bilateral stimulation is used by the therapist, either through eye tracking, bilateral sound or bilateral tactile sensation. By adjusting the speed and pattern of the stimulation, the therapist can either facilitate the brain’s ability to liberate and process the negative emotion, but they can also use a different pattern to ground and reinforce positive emotions and beliefs. It is a way of bringing together cognitive behavioral aspects of therapy (spiritual warfare/renewing of the mind) with felt sense of emotion and avoided memory in mind and body to bring all of those dis-integrated brain areas back together to work together and to help them come back into proper balance and function.

    In studies conducted by Bessel Van der Kolk, the EMDR offers a drug-free cure that continues after the cessation of therapy for the better part of the subjects with simple depression and simple trauma, beating out the effectiveness of meds and of cognitive-behavioral (talk) therapy. For adults who had trauma or depression issues as children, the results from a 12 week study were very promising but were not as great as those who had uncomplicated depression. It seems that kids who don’t learn good self-soothing and coping strategy as children have to work a bit harder at healing, but they do respond well to EMDR. As a discrete subgroup, it is likely that more than 12 weeks of therapy as used in the published study was not sufficient to produce the favorable results found in the simple depression group. In fact, when I heard Van der Kolk in October 2010, he said that he finds simple trauma in adults (single event without complications in adults who had optimal emotional resources as very mentally healthy children) to be almost without medical challenge at this point.

    There used to be a bunch of YouTube videos about EMDR and what a session is like. You continue to experience emotion and to problem solve once the emotions and related memories are liberated, doing this until the negative belief behind the emotion is unbelievable and no longer unpleasant and the positive belief is completely believable, pleasant, and accessible. It takes what are called associative memories (those ones that feel active and ongoing and intensely real), allows the person to experience them in a safe and controlled environment so that they can desensitize to the overwhelming aspect of them, and they become like regular memories that can be recalled but do not stimulate an intense and real-time physiologic or intense/inappropriately disproportionate emotional reaction. It heals the brain from the threat and pain of them. What’s cool is that the patient’s own memory and experience of the process essentially guides it. You just stick with the process of bilateral stimulation until you’ve emptied the emotional load, and the brain restores itself. It just needs a safe place to heal and a little help and good coaching.

  85. “Lin, I agree that the 9/11 victims were real victims. However, that is not at all related to what I wrote. Among the victims who were in the Towers and died that day were a substantial number of Muslims, too, as were Muslims on the airplanes who were not part of the terrorists.”

    Arce, I just like to present another view so this does not become political liberal central. :o) I wonder if you are familiar with what has been going on in Dearborn, Michigan. And what went on there right after 9/11. I know we will disagree but there is some concern that your types are going to, in the cause of political correctness and religious liberty, promote Muslims being allowed to practice Sharia law in their communities.

    And btw: Muslims kill their own all the time.

    Before you paint me as a hated fundy, understand that I have been following the trajectory of what is going on in Europe with Islam. I found it strange I had to read about Jewish synagogues in France being attacked by Muslims in Vanity Fair of all places. And this was 6 years ago or so. In the Muslim areas of Paris, police will not even go into those neighborhoods. And the Muslims carry out their brand of Sharia law in these places…in Europe! This is happening in the Netherlands and Germany, too. And it is starting here. It is even in some parts of Canada.

    I just thought it was interesting that you used a Muslim being a victim here. I suppose the Ft Hood shooter was a victim as he yelled Allah Akbar and shot wounded soldiers?

    In summary: There are nuts on both sides. To single these two religions out is to ignore all the victims of every nut out there. I just found it interesting you focused on Muslim and Indian victims. And not say, children.

    Sharia law will not fit our constitution. I am always hoping for Muslim women to be free in this country but instead many women are becoming Muslims! I would also like to see more Muslims saved.

    I do not hate Muslims but I do hate how they treat women.

    Islam produces it own victim class as part of their religion. Think about that one. So do Hindu’s. Widow bier’s anyone? Aborting baby girls? According to the Koran, it is the husband’s right to “slap” his wife for anything.

    Do we really want to protect this stuff or see them as “victims” of America? Don’t ask me to feel sorry for Muslims who come here and want to practice Sharia law and keep their women as virtual prisoners. And no, I don’t want them teaching young girls to be future prisoners. I think the same way about Quivering daughters, just so you know. There is no place for this with our constitution.

  86. You know, what was cool for me was that when I felt overwhelmed, I could call on Jesus and imagined Him standing with me and directing me during EMDR when going through intensely overwhelming stuff. The first thing I wanted to work on was not being molested, not being raped, not my spiritual abuse issues, but was rather early memories of the death of my godparents’ daughter who died when I was six years old and the survivor guilt that I had. It was that family’s aunt who prayed for my healing (I had an APGAR score of 2 out of 10, and today, babies with anything less than an 8 go to NICU). My grandfather bought my burial plot on the day I was born because I was told that I wouldn’t survive. I experienced a divine and miraculous recovery while everyone huddled around on the death watch, and though I had severe seizures and was ventilator dependent before the moment of healing, I was discharged on day 14 as a normal infant.

    I felt that since it was the Pentecostal aunt of my godparents who had prayed for me when I was healed, I felt like I’d stolen that healing from their own daughter when she became fatally ill with Reye’s Syndrome six years later. I called on Jesus and saw Him standing with me during almost all of my sessions of EMDR, and it was wonderful. He stood with me at Anne’s grave where a part of me, in my head and as part of my identity, had been standing my whole life. I carried that with me until I was 40 years old (weeping and praying at altars with that grief since I was six), and overnight, it changed. He once even jumped into my head as a flannelgraph when dealing with a memory I had as a young child. And my counselor used this process to reinforce good Christian teachings and principles all throughout the process, coaching me to heal and to realize what I’d already learned in my head but what seemed so far away from my emotion.

  87. Has anyone pointed out yet that Seneca has introduced Lithium (one of the oldest psych meds in the book with the tightest of all “therapeutic windows” of any drug in all of medicine) as a red herring and to “poison the well” to challenge the efficacy of every and all psych meds? (As if medicines for hypertension or gastrointestinal disorders don’t affect the mind and brain!) Putting up links to examples of bad doctors as an indictment against all doctors concerned with mental health is another example of his style of deception. This is classic use of informal logical fallacy to sway opinion. His use of the black and white fallacy (if an example has a remote problem, it cannot be considered legitimate at all under any circumstances and anything remotely similar must be equally illegitimate) is also pretty predictable.

    Actually, what is sad is that elemental lithium (in doses found in food that can be taken as a supplement at concentrations that are thousands of times less than those used to treat bipolar disorder) are essential for people with obsessive compulsive disorder. The part of the brain that is responsible for OCD behavior needs a certain amount of lithium to function, just like bone marrow needs iron to generate hemoglobin so that it can carry oxygen. There was actually a recent study that showed that lithium orotate supplements that can be found in healthfood stores has been shown to increase life expectancy. But Seneca, in his ignorance of medicine and in search for a red herring has tried to make lithium seem very unsafe for everyone. It may actually be a natural supplement that can help people with problems in their “brain hardware” due to poor nutritional lithium in the diet. Thanks, Seneca.

    There are comments here concerning the “culture of abuse” from a couple of different angles and with a couple of different twists. I think that they all come from the point of bias of making bad law from hard cases and from particular agendas. We have to look at things from a broader perspective. And we have to consider well informed ideas in context to cut through deceptions and stereotypes.

  88. Just out of curiosity Lin, can you point to some factual document and/or real instance where Sharia law has been allowed to trump local, state & or federal law here in the U.S.? And please don’t provide a link to Jay Sekulow or Ann Coulter’s site. Facts pleez?

  89. NLR, I really enjoy your posts lol. I find myself cracking up reading some of the stuff you say. Like the story about your friend who was imbibing on the koolaid and wanted your times together to be more “intentional” lol. I can relate to all that groupthink.

    And then there was this that made me laugh

    Members of the group would meet with our group leader about twice a month and do Theophostic with her.

    That totally cracked me up. No wonder people think Christians are nuts 😛

  90. NLR,

    You asked about what my experience was like with EMDR and of my specific symptoms. In hindsight, I realize that I didn’t specifically answer your question.

    I don’t think that it’s appropriate to discuss all of that here. I do touch on some of my experience in my testimony which I link to from my website if you’d want to read more about it, and you are welcome to write to me privately. It was complicated, and I did have trauma layers on top of trauma, and life circumstances were layered with religious issues.

    As someone who suffered with complex trauma and depression since childhood, I felt that I had exhausted every Christian alternative to heal myself, even natural health and did several 21 and 30 day fasts on dilute vegetable juices. I’d been to deliverance about twenty times, and if you counted the Christian books I’d read and the times I’d wept at the altar of the church for prayer, I think that they easily both number over a thousand each. I don’t know how I could begin to count them. I went up to every evangelist and visiting minister for prayer, and I think that people probably thought that I was merely looking for attention, but I was broken.

    If you add up all of the time I spent in weekly therapy which I started as an adult, I believe that it adds up to nine or ten years. (I was not in continual therapy, and I would stop when I was in a good season but would have to go back to help with symptoms.) I did suffer with some disturbing obsessive compulsive traits, and I was severely debilitated when we finally left our spiritually abusive church as I sought out help and healing thereafter. Some temporary behaviors that I experienced after a childhood event resurfaced when I suffered another serious trauma at age 33, something that ultimately helped me get deeper healing for both events. It was those kinds of things that sent me back to weekly therapy.

    I can tell you this — I believe that I did more work and better work in weekly sessions of EMDR for one year than I’d done in all of the previous years of work with a therapist doing talk/cognitive behavioral therapy combined. My obsessive-compulsive traits are completely gone, and I am medication free. As I’ve alluded, I have unloaded powerful associated memories (traumatic memories that felt overwhelming and ongoing) that I’d carried as intensely real since childhoood. I can hardly remember them, and I mostly just remember having them and can’t even visualize those memories that I’d processed out (complete with the smells and sometimes even the clothes I was wearing). That is all gone. I mostly just remember the general events and am not bound by them anymore.

    I suffered with migraines, getting 12 to 20 a year. I had one migraine last year, and it was about 80% less intense than they used to be and without other symptoms like vomiting. I used to have unmanagable asthma, and now I only use occasional rescue meds and no longer need injections. My general pain level is about 70% reduced. My digestion is better. My general level of activity and health is better. And I have joy like I never knew I could.

  91. It’s a problem in Oklahoma — one I heard about directly from a friend who lives there. This article doesn’t have all of the details, but it includes the name of the Muslim man who won a court battle to uphold his patriarchal rights over his wife, prompting this action on the part of the voters in Oklahoma. It was pretty terrifying to my friend at the time.

  92. Note: Above response concerned questions about Shariah Law within the US, apart from references and sources other than people like Ann Coulter, etc.

    Thought I’d copied the original comment from further up in the comment stream but must have done some funky touch pad magic and deleted it or something. (I hate this laptop touch pad!)

  93. Lin PLEASE. I do not defend Muslims, Sikhs, or anyone else, including Christians, who commit crimes. You are WAY OFF BASE.

    And accusing me of what was in your post at 5:59 pm is totally unjust, unjustified, and improper. I will look at one more of your posts after this one. If it is not an apology, I will not read any others from you. I have be libeled and slandered by you and will not tolerate it.

  94. There is but one use of Sharia law as practiced by Muslims in this country that has ANY chance of having standing in US courts and there is good reason for that use. That is, Sharia law includes certain mandates about contracts between Muslims having to do with interest and guarantees in financial transactions, as well as a requirement for mediation/arbitration with a means of selecting the mediators/arbitrators from within the Muslim community. U.S. law, in every state, allows for the enforcement of terms of agreement in contracts as stated in the contract, provided that they do not violate explicit laws in the U.S. jurisdiction. This is particularly true for contracts between entities or persons in the U.S. and those outside this country. If parties agree in the contract that the venue will be in the U.S. courts, but the contract will be interpreted in accord with the law in, say Turkey, then the U.S. court will get an interpretation of what the law is in Turkey relative to the controversy and apply that law.

  95. Cindy,

    Read the FauxNews article twice. Found no reference to a name of a man suing to get patriarchy rights enforced.

  96. Cindy K

    An extensive google search could not find any reference to a suit in this country to maintain patriarchy rights of a Muslim man over his wife using Sharia law. Please provide a link to that reference or request your comment be removed.

  97. Sorry, but considering the discussion I had with my friend in Oklahoma, I am relating what she said based on what I remember from what must be from over a year ago. Her concerns and the concerns of her husband involved setting precedent in court in support of Shariah law, and their specific concerns involved patriarchal privilege. I didn’t realize that I was commenting on legal matters here but was relaying what I’d heard from my friends in the state as a layperson. I assumed that there was some case because of the issues that were brought before the people in the context of a court situation. I apologize, Arce, but I didn’t take notes, names, dates or details. I do know that the matter was brought up before the citizens of the State of Oklahoma and was a matter for their consideration.

    If it is such a great concern for you, can I ask that the link to the news article or to something detailing the history of the concerns of the State of Oklahoma regarding this issue remain?

  98. Arce,

    As a layperson, I spoke to other layperson friends in Oklahoma who are not part of the “Anne Coulter” and World magazine set about their concerns regarding an issue in Oklahoma and the discussion of Shariah Law being set as a legal precedent within the state. The matter was put to a public vote which indicates that someone of some import thought it was of enough concern to the citizens of the State of Oklahoma to warrant some attention. It was my best understanding from this conversation with other laypersons that there was a legal matter being discussed wherein a man would have the right to invoke Shariah Law to support patriarchal rule over his wife. I do not know if the matter was taken to court and was awaiting a ruling, but it was my impression that there was an actual legal case.

    My friends have moved and I put in a call to the phone number that I last had for them, and I sent off an email. I’d read similar information (though did not scrutinize it) on a message board sometime after the conversation with my friends, and I’ve asked for help there locating any documentation or additional information that might be found through that site.

    Anyone with any further interest in this matter can read more by searching out the names and concerns mentioned in this news piece. I’m not an attorney and have not made statements here that are meant in any way to be a legal statement.

  99. @ Arce 9and everyone): there are *many* different schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and they differ greatly on the interpretation of many, many issues.

    Yes, there are people who are almost medieval in their thinking and actions, but thats true of people of EVERY RELIGION on the face of the planet – bar none.

    There are many different strands of theology and philosophy within Islam as well – you all might want to check out some of Kenneth Cragg’s books on Christian dialogues with Muslims and perspectives on Islam. he is an Anglican priest (bishop for a while) who has spent decades and decades living in Arab countries. (for me personally, the kicker was getting to know people from Arab – and other – Muslim countries, as students, neighbors and friends. Our media is overloaded with stereotypes…. I was horribly bigoted toward Arabs at one time, and I’ve had a lot of my ideas shot down – gently – via getting to know people. I believe that is God’s providence working in my life, as well as in the lives of those whom I got to know.)

    Was glued to Al Jazeera’s site during the demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahir Square, because I have former students who might have been there… And someday, I would love to see them again, and to visit Egypt. I wish I could have gone to Iraq *before* both Saddam and the current war, since so many of their cultural centers, museums, archaeological sites etc. have been destroyed – looted, uncared for, shot up, bombed.

    I would absolutely love to visit Iran someday. The iranians that I’ve gotten to know are incredibly warm people, and Iranian culture (art, literature, music etc.) is on a par with the very finest of any other civilization in this world, bar none. (I have a special love for Persian classical music – percussion instruments especially, and hope to find a teacher someday…)

    OK, end of off-topic rant.


    @ Cindy K: yes, I saw that whole thing re. Seneca’s comments on lithium, but wanted to avoid getting into that.

    cheers to all,

  100. @ Arce: isn’t the situation you describe (re. some aspects of Sharia in courts) very similar to how things work in NYC (and a few other places) re. Hasidic Jews and others who are what the less observant call “ultra-orthodox”?

    Seems like it would have to be… and fwiw, those groups are bastions of patriarchy.

  101. Cindy K on Sun, Aug 21 2011 at 09:39 am
    Seneca’s behavior here is now quite old and predictable. He has to urinate on everything, just to let us poor saps know that he thinks he’s important. What I wonder is whether he is unaware that he’s behaving this way or whether he thinks it’s appropriate to behave this way.

    Well stated!

  102. But unless a written contract, voluntarily entered into in this country, between a man and a woman, sets forth that their marriage will be governed by such and such a model of law, then the laws of the state will apply, further, the contract will not trump the constitution and its clauses, including the reconstruction era amendments. The sole use in U.S. courts of foreign law is contract interpretation between parties when their agreement specifies the law of another country shall apply as it relates to that contract.

  103. Lin,
    You are not the only one who finds Arce’s unbridled political and theological liberalism annoying here. I’m more than tired of it, too.

    Please stop making demands regarding what others can and can’t or should or shouldn’t say on a blog that is not your own. (Not I’m not demanding, just asking.) Lin has every right to dislike your politics and to say so, just as you have every right to state your views. She did not libel or slander you and you know that, if you are as good of a lawyer as you like to claim to be . She merely disagreed with you and expressed concern over the possible ramifications of certain ideas (and she didn’t even attribute those ideas to you, though she easily could have).

    Dee and Deb,
    Aren’t you tired of Arce’s bullying tactics? I certainly am.

  104. Junkster, I agree. Enough with the threats and blog bullying. People get enough threats and bullying from the pulpit each Sunday.

  105. She made FALSE statements about my beliefs, including my political beliefs. And on this site we appear to tolerate universalism, which is not one of my beliefs. My Christian faith includes that everyone be considered to have soul competence, also known as soul freedom, and the right before God to choose what they shall believe and practice, and should be treated fairly by Christians — that means we do not make false statements about what people believe or practice. Some of Lin’s statements about Muslims were unnecessary and displayed an ignorance of Muslim theology, and were prejudicial. That, to me, is an unChristian approach to those of other faiths.

  106. Junkster

    I grew up in a family in which we all sat around the kitchen table and yelled at each other over politics and anything else we could dream up. My dad would occasionally stop to have a little sip of vodka to give him strength to shout louder. I still can cuss in Russian.

    He was decidedly not Christian, although he had a nominal membership at the Russian Orthodox church because he loved the festivals and wanted the Russian choir to sing at his funeral, which they did. In fact, in his final days, confused, he would lay towels on the ground so the choir could kneel by his bed at night and sing to him.

    He was also a diehard liberal who loved the Kennedys and Franklin Roosevelt was his hero. However, before he died I did convince him to vote for Ronald Reagan whom he kind of liked because he was a member of the actors union.

    So, I am not well schooled in the finer art of polite squabbling. But one thing I learned from my nonChristian, rough around the edges, Russian immigrant dad is this. We could scream and pound the table and even occasionally call each other names but we still loved one another albeit in a rather odd way. So, I guess I don’t see things the way everyone else does.

    I love a good fight and I don’t take things personally. Each of you is very precious to me and I smile when i think of you. Junkster, with your humor and very well thought out theology, Lin and Cindy on women’s issues which are near and dear to my heart and Arce who reminds me always to think about the poor and downtrodden. All of you have enriched my life in ways that you will never know until we get beyond the veil.

    I see you all as family and know that you can argue this through and still come around to being able to love one another in all of your eccentricities. (and mine).

    Oh, my dad…he had a deathbed conversion. One day, he woke up and had a clear moment. He told me that it was time for him to “check out”, a term he always used for his patients (he was a doctor) who died. I asked him if he understood I was a Christian and he said it was very good. I asked him if he had every accepted the Lord. He shook his head. I asked him if he wanted to do that and he said yes. So, as he held my hand and my daughter’s hand, we helped him pray to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He smiled at me and said that “It’s alright now.” He slipped back into confusion and I’m afraid he gave the nurses a run for their money for a couple of weeks before he died.

    There was no time for the sanctification process, I’m afraid. I sometimes wonder what it will be like to see him in heaven. I can’t imagine him not arguing and cussing in Russian and having a glass of vodka with friends.Although he did teach me the words to the Beer Barrel Polka which I learned when I was a small child.
    “In heaven there is no beer
    That’s why we drink it here
    And when we’re gone from here
    All our friends will be drinking all the beer.”

    Perhaps this is the Russian/Polish theological doctrine on what happens with alcohol in heaven

    Well, I bet you are all mad at me but I love you all. I mean that !

  107. Arce, there is a HUGE difference between passionately defending and standing up for your beliefs and bullying someone.

    So someone made a false statement about what you believe – so what? Are you really so fragile? Or do you see yourself as someone of significant importance? People can slander me, gossip about me, rail on me, etc. I am with Dee on this one – I love a good fight. Bring on the war of words and lets go at it!

    Sometimes you sound like a little kid crying “Mommy, Billy called me a name.” Grow up and fight like an adult and quit your bellyaching.

  108. Geeze Louise! All I said was that if ya can’t back up the anti-Muslim rhetoric with facts, don’t put it out there. It’s got nothing to do with liberal & conservative ideology or political correctness whatsoever. It has everything to do with integrity and responsible commenting.

  109. Over at Triablogue Steve Hays (who by any reasonable or unreasonable measure is as Calvinist as anyone could possibly be) wrote that nouthetic counseling is, overall, not something Christians should be in a rush to get or endorse. He makes the simple criticism that “biblical counseling” will only be as good as the exegesis of the “biblical counselor” and that on this score virtually none of the nouthetic counselors tend to demonstrate they are all that good at exegesis.

    Hays also refers to David Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ remark that Jay Adams merely perpetuated the errors of Thomas Szazs in claiming that there are no mental illnesses, just sin. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was also another fairly famous Calvinist sort. It would seem, to use Wartburg terminology, that old school Calvinists find the behaviors of the new-school Calvinistas in dismissing things like mental illness to be, well, mentally ill.

    Ultimately Hays concludes that you’d be better off reading something like Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed than going to see a nouthetic counselor.

  110. The triablogue article ( and thoughtful comments) is very good.

    Nouthetic counseling READS as very black and white. I’m not sure it plays out that way in the counseling that takes place but it certain reads as a cookie cutter approach to problems.

  111. Thanks Numo and Muff.

    I believe it in the best interest of honest dialog that I ignore comments by NBTT and Lin, regardless of the truth or falsity, prejudice or fairness of those comments. My not commenting is not assent to whatever they say, because I am not reading what they say.

  112. Here is what Arce wrote to Lin on Sunday at 8:25 PM:

    “I have be libeled and slandered by you and will not tolerate it.”

    That is what was so troubling to me. Libeled ans slandered???? Is he/she serious???? I do not even have a clue who this “Arce” is. Does Lin? How do you libel ans slander someone that you do not even know? And then he/she warns “I will not tolerate it.” Is that some sort of threat? That is what I meant by bullying. There in no need for any such comments that can be perceived as a threat.

    NO ONE should ever be threatened on a blog. We are all here voluntarily and just discussing our viewpoints. Occasional heated debate ans occasional name calling etc can be well tolerated. But threatening someone is WAY out of line.

    So that is what I called bullying. There is no reason to threaten anyone.

    And Arce also talks about not reading Lin’s posts anymore (and now mine). Oh boo hoo. Quit being such a baby.

  113. NBTT

    I would love to get back on track. You are free to post your thoughts but this is not some sensitivity session trying to parse what is right or wrong with everyone. Trust me, we ALL (me included) have our weaknesses in communication and finger pointing will only cause this to devolve into a ho-huh personality war.

  114. Hi Dee,

    You are correct, and once again I apologize. I should not have gotten involved as this was not my discussion. I will cease from anymore such comments.

  115. Dee and Nothing But the Truth,

    I don’t know if I agree about the sensitivity lesson. I think that has been exactly what it’s been for me, and I am very glad that Nothing but the Truth chimed in. Junkster left a similar comment before this latest feather ruffling with Arce, suggesting the same.

    I think that there are far more people participating here who are less tolerant, shall we say, of conservative, traditional Christian views. There was someone named Lydia with whom I was familiar from Wade Burleson’s blog, and Arce issued an ultimatum to her to leave TWW, or he would. She’s gone, and if someone asked her to stay online here, I missed that (which is entirely possible). I do know that I don’t see her name here anymore. Junkster has been polite and reasonable, and I read at least one comment that was put to him which insulted his integrity as a Christian. My integrity was challenged here recently also.

    As I hold more conservative views that I understand have been more like those held by Lydia, Lin, and Junkster, there’s a part of me that anticipates that I’m just biding my time here until I get issued a direct ultimatum of my own.

  116. It is very difficult to know when to say something, and when to mind my own business. We have all seen those 20/20 programs where they set up cameras and have actors pretending to be abusive to someone to see if anyone will get involved. Most are very reluctant. So where do we draw the line? I do not know and I would love some feedback on this topic. I want to do what is right and what is in everyone’s best interest.

  117. Also, I was in a very abusive cult for 10 years before attending SGM. There were in your face scream fests and constant confrontations. It got extremely nasty. When I look back, there are so many times when I wish I would have stood up for someone that was being screamed at. But I was too much of a coward, and too seduced into the abusive spirit of that cult.

    So that also plays into why I am having a such a hard time knowing when to say something and when not to. There is a grey area that is very confusing. I also know that I can be abusive at times, so who am I to say anything? What to do?

  118. I’m baaaaaack. :o)

    Oh my. Anyone have a fire hose?

    “Some of Lin’s statements about Muslims were unnecessary and displayed an ignorance of Muslim theology, and were prejudicial. That, to me, is an unChristian approach to those of other faiths.’

    Well Arce, considering I have read the Koran 3 times and joined Koran study group after 9/11, I am quite amused at your comment above. I do know what their Holy Book teaches. Now, does that mean all Muslims follow it? Let’s hope not! It certainly is not the religion of peace some want us to believe it is.

    BTW: A GREAT resouce for Islam is Jay Smith. An Islamic scholar in London. He is also a Christian who witnesses and debates Muslims in Hyde Park. He has a series of videos that help us understand what the Koran teaches. If anyone is interested here is the link:

    He has many videos of short teaching vinyettes on the Koran. I do not know if Jay is Tory or Labour. :o)

    Arce, you are right. I am “prejudicial” toward Islam. I admit that. Pronounce me politically incorrect. :o) I think it oppresses women and teaches them to be oppressed from the day they are born. I think it is an evil religion and I want to see people saved from it. I also do not want to see “religious” liberty used to oppress people.

    Sharia law is being practiced in Muslim communities. You just don’t know about it or perhaps don’t want to know about it?
    It is being practiced every time a girl is forced to cover. Everytime she is kept from learning English. Every time she is denied higher education. And this is going on in our communities. I have been around Catholic Charities a lot with the Muslim refugees, I saw this all the time.

    And if a women goes to the authorities about any abuse, etc, she is forever banned from her family. It is a big decision to make the break. Where will she go? Our system is not set up to deal with this problem.

    I feel the same way about Quivering daughter’s communities and will do all I can to rescue anyone in that life.

    I found cognative dissonance in your view of “persecuted Muslims” when their religion inherently persecutes people. There are many cultural Muslims who do not practice all the teaching in the Koran, thankfully, for us. I know many of them. Some are doctors who have treated me. How is that for prejudicial?

    It is kind of hard to be pro Muslim religious liberties and pro woman at the same time. You wanted to paint a picture of us mean Americans persecuting Muslims when the truth is there are nutcases everywhere who do stupid things. The Unibomber was a liberal and loved Al Gore! See where that thinking takes us? There have been MORE REAL victims of Muslim violence here than “persecuted” Muslims. And I am talking dead people. BTW: Where was the outcry fro the peaceful Muslims living here? There was dancing in the streets in Dearborn after 9/11.

    I just want to bring an opposing view to the liberal ones given here. But many times, I just keep silent. For example, a few threads ago (I am too busy to look for it to cut and paste it here), you mentioned something about Texas and the jobs being low paying, poverty there, etc.

    I thougt it was strange as in ‘why is he mentioning this in this thread’?

    But then, a distant relative, whose son works for the DNC showed me a copy of their current talking points sent out to field operatives.

    And it was all about trashing Texas. Say these talking points on blogs, talk radio, etc. And don’t even mention Perry. It is to be a preemptive strike on Perry. Put the idea in people’s minds that TX is bad before we even turn to Perry.

    And I thought: Aha. Coincidence? Maybe. Pretty incredible one, though.

    So, please ignore my comments. That is fine by me. I do not want to “censor” you at all or the sources you use as some liberals want to do here.

    I simply want to bring an opposing view people can throw rocks at if they want. And I promise not to use RNC talking points. In fact, I quit that stuff years ago. I simply want smaller government and to live by our constitution which Muslims can’t if theyfollow the Koran devoutly. It is going to become a huge problem here as it is in Europe.

    As I hoped to make clear to you several threads ago. There are saved democrats/progressives and saved republicans/conservatives. As much as some might not like that thought. :o)

  119. I had a very busy weekend and have not been able to participate in the discussion. Now that I have had a chance to catch up, I would like to make the following points:

    (1) We are NOT banning anyone from the discussion. TWW prides itself in allowing opposing views. It is one of our hallmarks.

    (2) We would appreciate more civility in some of the commentary

    (3) Even though we know the conversation sometimes takes us “off topic”, we would like to see the dialogue return to the matter at hand — that being the subject of the post.

  120. “When I look back, there are so many times when I wish I would have stood up for someone that was being screamed at. But I was too much of a coward, and too seduced into the abusive spirit of that cult.

    So that also plays into why I am having a such a hard time knowing when to say something and when not to. There is a grey area that is very confusing. I also know that I can be abusive at times, so who am I to say anything? What to do?”

    It is a huge problem. Because for many people silence implies agreement. Silence implies consent.

    It is how corrupt systems are able to grow. How many people did it take at sgm who knew things… to simply stay silent…which means they consented by silence and allowed the corruption to grow. Many want to silence any opposing voice about Islam, women, doctrines such as egal, Calvinism etc.

    If we disagree with Obama, then we are racists. If we disagree with Islam, then we are mean fundies who want to persecute them. If we disagree with comp, then we do not believe the bible. Both sides of the ailse are guilty of this.

    This is how corrupt systems are eventually accepted by many because those with opposing views or relevant information stay silent.

    And rioting and killing because a cartoon shows an Iman with a bomb for a turban, is another way to silence people. It works.

  121. To everyone here. I wish both Lydia and Karlton would return because I value their input greatly. If one is a conservative biblicist & one is an atheist, it makes no difference to me in the realm of ideas because I believe that one does not have to be monolithic in crafting one’s own belief system. My own belief system incorporates ideas from both camps.

    And Deb? Good idea! The original post is about those who would have religious proscriptions against seeking modern medical help for mental illnesses. So long as it’s confined amongst their own enclaves & does not jeopardize the health and safety of minor children or society at large, they are free to adhere to whatever form of biblicism they see fit to practice.

  122. I have been informed that someone recently said here that they did not know anything about me. I have been posting here for well over a year, and much biographical, philosophical, theological, ecclesiological, etc. information about me can be found by searching for me, using the specific search function offered by this blog site.

  123. I think churches play a role in schizophrenia. They tell you one day that your sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west, and then another day they tell you that you are deceitfully wicked. So which is it?

  124. Arce, one of their personalities may say it is a demon, but their other personality may say it is a chemical imbalance. 🙂

  125. “The original post is about those who would have religious proscriptions against seeking modern medical help for mental illnesses. So long as it’s confined amongst their own enclaves & does not jeopardize the health and safety of minor children or society at large, they are free to adhere to whatever form of biblicism they see fit to practice.”

    The problem with this is that with people who are mentally ill they are not well suited to discerning what is best for them or making rational judgments many times. So when does the secular government have the right to interject itself in a “we’re going to cure them by casting out their demons” situation even if it is adults. Of course one extreme end of this is lobotomies. So which is better? A lobotomy or living in a total fantasy land and harming others with your actions?

    And yes I know we don’t do lobotomies anymore. At least not in most developed countries. But at times the medical profession has used bogus cures in their past also.

    And I’m somewhat familiar with this entire topic as my mother would likely be diagnosed as manic/depressive or bipolar or one of the choices near there. And spent 50+ years of her adult life in denial of the medical situation and kept blaming the issues (when she admitted to them which was rare) on spiritual sin issues with her or those about her. But given her denial of the situation most of the time it created major issues with her friends and family.

    It sure made for a bizarre childhood. Which only made sense by comparing notes with siblings years later trying to figure out just what was “going on” while we grew up.

  126. RE Lynn on Mon, Aug 22 2011 at 05:57 pm:

    You’re right, it is a thorny legal issue to be sure. Where is the fine legal line between religious liberty and the rights of minor children to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness? Do parents have the right to withhold modern medical treatment under the rubric of religious freedom? (Arce is probably best qualified to weigh in on what the law allows and does not allow)

    With adults, and so long as they pose no clear and present danger to themselves and others, let them practice their religion as they see fit.

  127. Unfortunately, we live in a global society…it is no long the world of the middle ages….what one does to another person, whether a member of a group, family or other unit…does impact society at large.

    Maybe we should all have a say in how parents raise their children. After all, why should the mere act of procreation endow a person with absolute power and control over rearing their children, when how the child turns out, will ultimately have an effect on those around him or her.

  128. If there is a significant risk to life or of permanent disability, then, in most states, a medical professional or facility can go to court and seek an order for treatment. The restrictions are state by state, and vary tremendously. The process usually includes appointment of an attorney ad litem for the child, sometimes a guardian at litem for the child. Most often, it is an offshoot of the usual process for when a child has been abused or severely neglected by parents and intervention is necessary (most states treat denial of needed medical care as either abusive or severely neglectful). I am on the list here to serve as an ad litem for children in such circumstances and it is not often. Most such cases occur when a child is born with illegal substances in their body from intrauterine exposure.

    I have not seen a case involving psychiatric illness where denial of treatment by medical professionals was adjudicated as neglect or abuse in my practice. I believe those are rare. Normally, the issue is parents wanting the child to be declared incorrigible because of behavioral issues, rather than denying care.