• Mental Health in the Midst of Coronavirus (Resources and More)

Mental Health in the Midst of Coronavirus (Resources and More)

(This post has been edited to add additional links)

Mental health in the midst of Coronavirus (Covid 19), specifically: depression and anxiety (links to various resources father below).

Before I get to the links, I wanted to remind any readers I’ve had GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) since childhood, and for many years, I had clinical depression. I saw psychiatrists and took anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants.

My depression is mostly long gone, and while I still deal with GAD, I guess with life experience comes better coping skills.

I am strangely chill about the coronavirus mayhem. I am concerned for my friends and family who are over the age of 60, because I don’t want any of them to contract Covid 19 (Coronavirus), but I am not too worried about catching it myself and dying.

I figure, if I do contract the disease and die, I cannot do anything to change it. If I am hospitalized, maybe the medical staff can treat me and I can pull through, but if not, I may die. And I’m okay with that.

At this point the only thing that spikes my anxiety at all is not the virus but how the public is acting – people are hoarding supplies, leaving nothing for others, and people have broken into fist fights at Sam’s Clubs stores over food and toilet paper.

But the older I get, the more I understand certain biblical passages now more than I did when I was younger, such as this one (from Luke 12) – a person doesn’t have to be a Christian or believe in a deity to get some wisdom out of the gist of this:

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Passages such as that one make more sense to me now than they did when I was growing up. Sitting around worrying about a virus isn’t going to do a thing to make your life better, so what’s the point in worrying about it?

The Links

If I find additional material about mental health in relation to Coronavirus, I will try to edit this post to add the information.

Here is a series of links from newspapers and magazines that discuss the covid19 virus (coronavirus) in light of mental health; some simply describe the situation, while others offer tips on how to deal with depression or anxiety, if one has either one.

What is it like to have an anxiety disorder in the time of coronavirus? My worst nightmare come to life – behind a paywall, but a free trial is available

The mental health cost of containing the coronavirus outbreak

A pandemic takes a unique toll on people with mental illnesses.

By Anagha Srikanth

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the NAMI helpline at 800-950-NAMI (6264).

…But for some, the anxiety can rise to a clinical level during an outbreak. Lewis said people should be aware of symptoms including difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns, rapid changes in mood, inability to carry out required or necessary tasks, self-medication using alcohol and drugs and prolonged self-isolation.

“For those who may already struggle with feelings of isolation due to depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions, social distancing could increase those feelings of loneliness and isolation,” Lewis [Krystal Lewis, clinical psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health] said in an email.

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• Preacher Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide, Idiot Christians on Social Media Put Their Ignorance on Mental Health Issues on Display Once More

Preacher Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide, Idiot Christians on Social Media Put Their Ignorance on Mental Health Issues on Display Once More

Preacher Jarrid Wilson ended his own life a few days ago. I didn’t have the time then to write a post about it, though I wanted to.

From what I’ve seen of the after math of Wilson’s suicide, most Christians remain totally ignorant about mental health issues and erroneously believe that faith alone can and will heal someone of having a mental health problem,
while another variety of Christian wrongly believe that having faith in Jesus will keep one immune from developing depression or other mental health problems in the first place.

Here are a few links about that, and then I will add my two cents further below (and there are even more links below my commentary):

Jarrid Wilson, pastor and mental health advocate, kills himself

A US pastor known for his mental health advocacy has killed himself, church officials say.

Jarrid Wilson, 30, worked at te 15,000 member Harvest Christian Fellowship Church for 18 months before his death.

Mr Wilson and his wife founded Anthem of Hope, a programme created to help people dealing with depression.

He is survived by his two sons and wife Juli, who wrote the death had “completely ripped my heart out of my chest”.

Popular Megachurch Pastor and Mental Health Advocate Jarrid ilson Dies by Suicide at Age 30

In 2016, he founded Anthem of Hope, a faith-centered organization dedicated amplifying hope for those battling depression

by Robyn Merritt
Wed, Sept 11, 2019

Popular megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson has died by suicide.

His wife Juli Wilson broke the news to her followers by sharing a video of her “sweet husband” playing with their son.

Jarrid — a pastor at the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in California — was 30.

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• Widow Reveals She Was Fat Shamed At Her Husband’s Funeral By Guests Who Said She ‘Should Have Lost Weight’ For the Occasion by L. Hawkin

Widow Reveals She Was Fat Shamed At Her Husband’s Funeral By Guests Who Said She ‘Should Have Lost Weight’ For the Occasion by L. Hawkin

I’ve not even yet read this article, but I can’t help but wonder, why would guests harass this woman over her weight at her husband’s funeral? What difference does it make? Do they think her dead husband is going to suddenly sit upright in the casket and say, “You lost weight; you look great, dear.” That’s not going to happen.

Most people are grief illiterate. They have no idea how to comfort and support someone who is in grief, and in examples like this, you can see they are capable of hurting someone who is already in grief.

Widow Reveals She Was Fat Shamed At Her Husband’s Funeral By Guests Who Said She ‘Should Have Lost Weight’ For the Occasion

June 2019

A WIDOW has revealed she was fat-shamed at her husband’s funeral by cruel guests who said she should have “lost weight” before criticising her outfit choice.

In a personal essay for Love What Matters, the widow recalled how her husband died in a tragic motorcycle accident earlier this year which left him with severe brain injuries.

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• The End of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

The End of Empathy

This issues discussed in this article remind me of this Bible verse:

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…

The End Of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

Snippets:

…Americans these days seem to be losing their appetite for empathy, especially the walk-a-mile-in-someone’s-shoes Easter Sunday morning kind.

…Konrath [associate professor and researcher at Indiana University] collected decades of studies and noticed a very obvious pattern.

Starting around 2000, the line starts to slide.

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• Christians Combat Depression and Suicide Too; Pastors and Ministers share How They Get Through by J. Law

Christians combat depression and suicide too; pastors and ministers share how they get through by J. Law

Snippets:

The depression rate worldwide is on a continual rise and Christians are not immune.

With multiple headlines of pastors who died by suicide throughout the United States, The Christian Post decided to reach out to ministers to talk about how they combat their darkest moments.  

…Despite the increasing notice of depression and suicide nationally, the resources to help people in the church struggling with these thoughts or feelings are scarce.

According to the World Health Organization, depression at its worst leads to suicide and it affects 300 million people worldwide.

It’s estimated that 15 percent of people will experience depression at some point in their adult lives.

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• It’s Not Self Pity When It’s Happening To You – RE: Classifying Other People’s Life’s Pain Derogatorily as “Self Pity”

It’s Not Self Pity When It’s Happening To You – Re: Classifying Other People’s Life’s Pain Derogatorily as “Self Pity”

This has become a very big pet peeve of mine in the last few years.

There are people out there, who, if you go to them when you’re undergoing a rough patch in your life, seeking empathy or encouragement – say,  after the death of a family member, or what have you – they will later refer to this behavior of yours insultingly as “self pity.”

I have run into two people so far in the last few years who have classified my struggles as being “self pity,” with one of these people engaging in that behavior herself, but of course, she does not regard herself writing to me about being stressed or hurting as “self pity,” no.

I’ve also seen people on other sites refer to other people’s struggle to cope with depression, grief, job loss, or what have you, with the phrase “self pity.”

I am not convinced that any and all negative reactions to hurt, pain, and anxiety in life is always “self pity.” I think it’s often not self pity.

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• Christianity Did Not Help Me, It Did Not Work For Me

I was a very devout Christian from childhood up to my early, maybe mid, forties.

These days, I don’t know what I am (religiously speaking).

As I look back over my life, I can see that not only did the Christian faith not help me much, but as some of its teachings were taught to me, it created obstacles in my life, and kept me stuck in harmful patterns or ways of thinking.

Supposing there is an afterlife with a Heaven and a Hell, and acceptance of Christ means a ticket into Heaven upon death, that works out just fine. I can sure see how that is beneficial later on.

Christianity, though, did not really help me with very much in the present life.

Any pain, problems, or stress I’ve had so far were not relieved by the Christian faith.

Prayer, Bible reading, believing in Jesus, volunteering at charities, attending church – none of that alleviated my problems.

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• What To Say (and What Not To Say) To Someone Who Is Grieving by D. Pogue

What To Say (and What Not To Say) To Someone Who Is Grieving by David Pogue

By the way, where I differ from others on some of the list below: some people are just as close to their pets as some people are to their family, so yes, losing a dog, cat, or other pet can hit those people pretty hard.

It was my experience after my mother died that most people either totally avoided me (so as not to have to feel awkward to be around me or to avoid providing emotional support), while I got a fair share of insensitive comments or unsolicited advice, even from Bible-believing Christians.

Grieving for pets is not taken seriously by a lot of Americans – a lot of them will tell you to “just get another cat” if your cat dies and you discuss being upset about it, which is not empathetic, either. I can say more on that in a future post, if I can get around to it.

What To Say (and What Not To Say) To Someone Who Is Grieving by David Pogue

Snippets:

Feb. 2019

….Your responses make it clear that Empathy Deficit Disorder (not a real condition, but maybe it should be) has reached epidemic proportions:

  • “After our daughter was stillborn,” wrote Wendy Thomas, “a colleague told me I shouldn’t have used the photocopy machine.”
  • “My first husband died of cancer when he was 35 and I was 26,” recounted Patrice Werner. “I still recoil when I think of the number of people who said, ‘You’re young; you’ll find someone else.’”
  • “My only child, Jesse, committed suicide at age 30,” Valerie P. Cohen recalled. “A friend wrote, ‘I know exactly how you feel, because my dog just died.’”

To be fair, knowing the right thing to say doesn’t come naturally. We’re neither born with that skill nor taught it.

Our society generally avoids talking about death and grieving.

Many of us haven’t had much experience with people in desperate emotional pain, so it’s not always obvious when we’re helping and when we’re hurting.

May the following pointers be your guide, brought to you by people who’ve been on the receiving end.

Too many friends and acquaintances want to talk about how your loss affects them.

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• Grief Support Gone Wrong: When You’re Beyond Second Chances – from WYG site

Grief Support Gone Wrong: When You’re Beyond Second Chances – from WYG site

The one thing more difficult than losing my mother was the lack of emotional support I received after she died – that plus the insensitive comments and platitudes I got from other people.

I’ve been thinking of writing about my experiences with how horribly extended family, immediate family, online friends, real life friends, and church people hurt me or totally let me down in my time of grief, for this blog.

In the meantime, there is this page, linked to below, from WYG (“What’s Your Grief”) which outlines many of the ways you will be mistreated during your time of grief: you’ll either be ignored, wounded, insulted, or offended by the people in your life who should be emotionally supporting you (and perhaps offering practical help to you) during your time of grief.

I completely related to several items on this page.

I’m only going to place a portion of the WYG article on this page; if you’d like to read the entire thing, please use this link:

Grief Support Gone Wrong: When You’re Beyond Second Chances

Nothing puts a person’s support system to the test quite like a crisis. When the clouds of hardship dull the glare of more happy and carefree times, a person often sees their support system accurately for the very first time.

For some people, this is a reassuring experience, as they find their support system is similar to what they had assumed it would be. For others, it’s a bit, shall we say, disconcerting.

Many grieving people find that changes and disappointments within their support system become a secondary loss. They had assumed a certain type of support would be given and they feel hurt and angry when it isn’t.

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• Nine Ways Therapists Personally Deal With Grief by A. Drucker

Nine Ways Therapists Personally Deal With Grief

Nine Ways Therapists Personally Deal With Grief

Snippets (I’m not going to reproduce all nine steps from their page on my blog):

From a death to a job loss to an ended relationship, here’s how experts handle loss.

By Ali Drucker

While there’s no right way to grieve, there are a number of strategies that can help you get through loss.

When you think of grief, the first thing that comes to mind is likely mourning the death of a loved one. But grief can surface around any major life transition, like ending a relationship, dealing with an illness, or even losing a job.

As Melissa Fisher Goldman, a licensed clinical social worker and member of the Association of Death Education and Counseling puts it, “we don’t get over grief; we get through it.”

For a little help getting through it, HuffPost chatted with Goldman and other therapists for practical advice on how they personally deal with grief. Here’s how they handle it:

Allow Yourself To Cry

This method may be obvious, but it’s important to point out. Danielle Forshee, a licensed clinical social worker in New Jersey, said that during times of grief, she makes an effort not to suppress her tears.

There’s actually some science that supports the benefits of a good, cathartic sob.

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• Dear Therapist: Will I Ever Get Over My Wife’s Death? by L. Gottlieb

Dear Therapist: Will I Ever Get Over My Wife’s Death? by L. Gottlieb

Dear Therapist: Will I Ever Get Over My Wife’s Death? by L. Gottlieb

“We were married for 47 years, and I can’t picture life without her.”

Dear Therapist,

I am a fairly successful international attorney. My wife of 47 years died last December. It has been the worst three months of my life, and my depression does not go away.

How long will this go on? I still expect her to come out of her room daily. Should I go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings again—although I have no desire to drink—just to talk? See a thanatologist? Is there anything to ease the solitude?

Anonymous

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• Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity by L. A. Taunton

Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity by L. A. Taunton

Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity

Snippets:

When a Christian foundation interviewed college nonbelievers about how and why they left religion, surprising themes emerged.

by Larry Alex Taunton
June 2013

“Church became all about ceremony, handholding, and kumbaya,” Phil said with a look of disgust. “I missed my old youth pastor. He actually knew the Bible.”

I have known a lot of atheists. The late Christopher Hitchens was a friend with whom I debated, road tripped, and even had a lengthy private Bible study. I have moderated Richard Dawkins and, on occasion, clashed with him.

And I have listened for hours to the (often unsettling) arguments of Peter Singer and a whole host of others like him.

These men are some of the public faces of the so-called “New Atheism,” and when Christians think about the subject — if they think about it at all — it is this sort of atheist who comes to mind: men whose unbelief is, as Dawkins once proudly put it, “militant.”

But Phil, the atheist college student who had come to my office to share his story, was of an altogether different sort.

[The author discusses how he frequently talks with and debates atheists, and asks them, especially the ones who used to be believers,]

What led you to become an atheist?

Given that the New Atheism fashions itself as a movement that is ruthlessly scientific, it should come as no surprise that those answering my question usually attribute the decision to the purely rational and objective: one invokes his understanding of science; another says it was her exploration of the claims of this or that religion; and still others will say that religious beliefs are illogical, and so on. To hear them tell it, the choice was made from a philosophically neutral position that was void of emotion.

… To gain some insight, we launched a nationwide campaign to interview college students who are members of Secular Student Alliances (SSA) or Freethought Societies (FS).

These college groups are the atheist equivalents to Campus Crusade: They meet regularly for fellowship, encourage one another in their (un)belief, and even proselytize.

They are people who are not merely irreligious; they are actively, determinedly irreligious.

…Using the Fixed Point Foundation website, email, my Twitter, and my Facebook page, we contacted the leaders of these groups and asked if they and their fellow members would participate in our study. To our surprise, we received a flood of enquiries.

[The author listened to Phil the former Christian, now atheist, discuss why and how he had become an atheist]

….As the narrative developed, however, it became clear where things came apart for Phil. During his junior year of high school, the church, in an effort to attract more young people, wanted Jim to teach less and play more. Difference of opinion over this new strategy led to Jim’s dismissal. He was replaced by Savannah, an attractive twenty-something who, according to Phil, “didn’t know a thing about the Bible.” The church got what it wanted: the youth group grew. But it lost Phil.

An hour deeper into our conversation I asked, “When did you begin to think of yourself as an atheist?”

He thought for a moment. “I would say by the end of my junior year.”

I checked my notes. “Wasn’t that about the time that your church fired Jim?”

He seemed surprised by the connection. “Yeah, I guess it was.”

Phil’s story, while unique in its parts, was on the whole typical of the stories we would hear from students across the country.

Slowly, a composite sketch of American college-aged atheists began to emerge and it would challenge all that we thought we knew about this demographic.

Here is what we learned:

 They had attended church

Most of our participants had not chosen their worldview from ideologically neutral positions at all, but in reaction to Christianity. Not Islam. Not Buddhism. Christianity.

The mission and message of their churches was vague

These students heard plenty of messages encouraging “social justice,” community involvement, and “being good,” but they seldom saw the relationship between that message, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.

Listen to Stephanie, a student at Northwestern:
“The connection between Jesus and a person’s life was not clear.”

This is an incisive critique. She seems to have intuitively understood that the church does not exist simply to address social ills, but to proclaim the teachings of its founder, Jesus Christ, and their relevance to the world.

Since Stephanie did not see that connection, she saw little incentive to stay. We would hear this again.

They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions

When our participants were asked what they found unconvincing about the Christian faith, they spoke of evolution vs. creation, sexuality, the reliability of the biblical text, Jesus as the only way, etc.

Some had gone to church hoping to find answers to these questions.

Others hoped to find answers to questions of personal significance, purpose, and ethics.

Serious-minded, they often concluded that church services were largely shallow, harmless, and ultimately irrelevant. As Ben, an engineering major at the University of Texas, so bluntly put it: “I really started to get bored with church.”

The decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one

With few exceptions, students would begin by telling us that they had become atheists for exclusively rational reasons. But as we listened it became clear that, for most, this was a deeply emotional transition as well. This phenomenon was most powerfully exhibited in Meredith. She explained in detail how her study of anthropology had led her to atheism. When the conversation turned to her family, however, she spoke of an emotionally abusive father:

“It was when he died that I became an atheist,” she said.

I could see no obvious connection between her father’s death and her unbelief. Was it because she loved her abusive father — abused children often do love their parents — and she was angry with God for his death? “No,” Meredith explained. “I was terrified by the thought that he could still be alive somewhere.”

The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism

When our participants were asked to cite key influences in their conversion to atheism–people, books, seminars, etc. — we expected to hear frequent references to the names of the “New Atheists.” We did not. Not once. Instead, we heard vague references to videos they had watched on YouTube or website forums.
/// end snippet ///

As to this portion of the article:

Ages 14-17 were decisive

One participant told us that she considered herself to be an atheist by the age of eight while another said that it was during his sophomore year of college that he de-converted, but these were the outliers. For most, the high school years were the time when they embraced unbelief.
/// end snippet ///

I don’t dispute that author’s findings, but, in all my reading on deconversion stories, I’ve noticed that the vast majority (including people who accepted Jesus as Savior while children and who were quite devout) leave the faith when they are age 40 – 49, not in their teens.

I myself am currently in my 40s, I was a devout Christian for years, accepted Christ as my Savior prior to age ten, yet in my 40s, I find myself wandering away from the faith and doubting it.

So I am not sure how to take the author’s point that most of the Ex Christians he met were atheists by the age of ten or age fifteen. That has not been my experience at all, anecdotally.

As to this portion of the article:

They [ex Christians who are now atheists] expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously

Following our 2010 debate in Billings, Montana, I asked Christopher Hitchens why he didn’t try to savage me on stage the way he had so many others. His reply was immediate and emphatic: “Because you believe it.”

Without fail, our former church-attending students expressed similar feelings for those Christians who unashamedly embraced biblical teaching.

Michael, a political science major at Dartmouth, told us that he is drawn to Christians like that, adding: “I really can’t consider a Christian a good, moral person if he isn’t trying to convert me.”

As surprising as it may seem, this sentiment is not as unusual as you might think.

It finds resonance in the well-publicized comments of Penn Jillette, the atheist illusionist and comedian:
“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…. How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Comments like these should cause every Christian to examine his conscience to see if he truly believes that Jesus is, as he claimed, “the way, the truth, and the life.”
/// end snippet ///

I also find this quite odd.

Most non-believers I’ve run into get antagonistic with you if you try to share your faith with them – they get offended – so why bother?

Secondly, even when I was 100% on-board with the Christian faith myself, in spite of the fact I believed (and still believe) that there is an afterlife, I did not (and do not) want to argue or debate with anyone about any of this.

I am not usually going to try to cram my religious views down your throat.

I’ve always had a pretty much “live and let live, let’s get along in spite of our differing views” type personality, regarding most beliefs.

Further, I’ve always been a reserved, introverted person who does not relish confrontation and controversy, so it’s not in my personality type to march right up to people I don’t know (or even ones I do know) and start giving a “Jesus spiel,” where I try to sell Christianity to them.

I’ve never cared all too much if someone wants to accept Christ or not; I’ve always been wired this way. I recognized at a young age that an atheist (or other non-believer) cannot be argued into believing in Christianity, so there is little point, (unless the individual approaching me is sincerely inquiring about my faith and wants to truly know why I believed what I did), in debating or discussing the faith with them.

Jesus said don’t toss your pearls before swine – there is a category of atheist out there that does not give a rat about Christianity.

That type of atheist merely loves intellectual stimulation and debate for its own sake (or to feel superior to people of faith), and they hate Christians, so they love trying to make any Christian they converse with appear to be a backwards idiot – and that is what prompts one category of atheist to chat about the faith with believers, not a sincere desire to learn, exchange ideas, or to reach the truth.

A lot of atheists I’ve observed online have a lot of intellectual pride.

That is why, when I used to be a lead moderator at a heavily- visited Christian board, the moment I sensed an atheist visitor was at our forum just to argue with Christians, I would refuse to debate them.

I simply did not care if they believed or not, I respected their choice to disbelieve – and this would annoy, shock, or infuriate certain types of atheists.

So I am not sure what to say to this category of atheist who act like Christians who aren’t hell-bent to convert them are somehow wrong or insincere; I think it’s quite the opposite.

As to this portion towards the end, I agree with this:

That these students [who left Christianity and are now atheists] were, above all else, idealists who longed for authenticity, and having failed to find it in their churches, they settled for a non-belief that, while less grand in its promises, felt more genuine and attainable.

I again quote Michael:
“Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven’t seen too much of that.”
/// end snippet ///

I can echo Michael on that. That definitely played a role in my drift from the faith.

After my mother’s death, I had my eyes opened. Most Christians I went to in my time of need, when I was in grief, weren’t living out the faith; they didn’t care to actually walk with me through that grief.

(My mother, by contrast, actually lived the faith; she didn’t just talk about it. She would offer practical assistance to people in need, such as, she would drive frail elderly neighbors to their doctor appointments.)

Many of the Christians I went to for help (as in, emotional support) after my mother’s death are the types of Christians who attend church, they read the Bible daily to weekly, and they pay the faith lip service, but they don’t actually practice the faith (see James 2:16 and Romans 12:15).

I have also regularly visited spiritual abuse blogs in the last few years and have noted a pattern in churches – when dealing with victims of domestic abuse or child sex abuse, most Christians victim-blame the victim and defend the abuser, which is the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

Christians who have depression or other mental health issues are also shamed by Christians – they are not empathized with, or, they are told if they have anxiety or depression, that they must “never have truly been saved” to start with.

These churches seldom provide actual help to victims (such as paying for them to receive counseling, putting abused wives up in apartments for free as they divorce their abusive husbands, etc).

And how often do these spiritual abuse sites, and secular news ones, report on pastors (who are self professing Christians) who are caught having affairs or manufacturing or looking at child pornography? It happens quite often.

If Christianity were true, I’d expect to find 99% of its adherents actually living clean lifestyles and helping (not condemning) victims of abuse and ministering to those in grief and so on, but I don’t see this. I usually see the opposite.

(And note, I did not say I expect absolute perfection from all Christians at all times, but to see most of them, 99% of the time, living clean lifestyles. But that’s not what I’m seeing. I’ll give any Christian a pass for the occasional fail here or there, but not for consistent and persistent sinful lifestyle choices and habits.)

I’m not sure the one percent who ARE living the faith consistently cancel out or “make up for” the 99% who are not.

The one percent are a big aberration in my mind at this point.

I see most Christians either ignoring the wounded, or feeding them platitudes to brush them off as quickly as they can, or else, many Christians shame the wounded.

I’ve not seen how Jesus Christ has actually made a difference in the lives of most self professing Christians I’ve run into in real life, or who I’ve read about online.

At any rate, you can read the that article in its entirety here, on The Atlantic


Follow-up to this post:

On Atheists Respecting Christians Who Believe the Bible, a Caveat

Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism by Olga Khazan

• Rob Delaney Wants To “Destigmatize Grief” By Opening Up About His First Christmas Since His Son Died by M. Blackmon – And: 2018 Examples of Grief

Rob Delaney Wants To “Destigmatize Grief” By Opening Up About His First Christmas Since His Son Died by M. Blackmon – And: 2018 Examples of Grief

The thing about grief is that it takes a lot of people two or more years to get through the passing of their loved one. Most Christians, though, act as though a person who experiences the death of a loved one should get over it instantly and do so in private (i.e., on their own, all alone).

There’s a complete ignorance, insensitivity, and impatience in how Christians handle someone they meet who is grieving.

I suppose that sometimes Non-Christians can be equally as terrible at dealing with grief, but it seems more common with Christians.

I think with the passing of time, that loss does get much easier to cope with, but one never stops missing their departed loved one, and the first few years after the death, particularly milestone dates, such as that person’s birthday, perhaps holidays, and so on, can be ten times more difficult to get through.

Notice how the people in the examples below are still emotional and upset about the passing of their loved one a year or more afterwards, and, it’s especially more difficult to cope with the death during holidays.

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