• For Most, Jesus and the Gospels Are Not the Answer for Depression, Suicide, and Other Mental Health Maladies (Part 1)

For Most, Jesus and the Gospels Are Not the Answer for Depression, Suicide, and Other Mental Health Maladies (Part 1)

I recognize for many Christians, the title of my post may seem shocking.

Please bear in mind I did add a qualifier; I said “for most.” I concede there may be a tiny percentage of  people out there who claim that Bible reading, or accepting Christ as Savior, or some other Christian-spiritually-related means, lifted their mental health problem.

What I say in this post can apply to any (to maybe all) mental health problems, but I mainly would like discuss these subjects with depression and suicidal ideation in mind.

I was undecided about writing a post about Christianity vis a vis mental health issues for this blog, until I saw Christian apologist Ray Comfort interviewed by Matt and Lori Crouch for a new movie about suicide he’s releasing (called “Exit: The Appeal of Suicide”) for a television program called “Praise” on TBN last night (July 24, 2017). Snippets from the film were shown during the “Praise” program.

The “Exit” movie has its own website. There is a trailer available for the Exit movie on You Tube.

Not only did Comfort discuss depression and suicide in this program in and of themselves, but he sort of veered off into the issue of how, supposedly, lacking faith in God and God’s promises, or holding on to disappointment or bitterness can eventually, several steps down the chain, lead to one dwelling on suicide as an option.

I find that to be a somewhat separate issue from depression or suicide proper, so I may return to that later on in this post – if at all.

In the majority of the interview I watched on TBN, the fact that many Christians suffer from depression was barely acknowledged, other than Matt Crouch mentioning that his mother, Jann Crouch (if one assumes she was a “true” Christian), struggled with depression for many years.

MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS CAN AND DO ALSO STRIKE DEVOUT CHRISTIANS NOT ONLY NON-CHRISTIANS OR BACK-SLIDDEN CHRISTIANS

Other than that, I don’t recall any acknowledgement being made in this show that Christians can and do suffer from depression, as well as anxiety and other mental health disorders.

For most of the program, Comfort seemed to be assuming that only Non-Christians can be depressed or mull over suicide.

Comfort seemed to assume that the main reason, or only reason, why depression and suicide has increased in American culture (or world wide) is that many cultures have stripped God away from the public discourse, and secularism has made headway in most cultures.

Comfort may have briefly mentioned evolution as playing a role as well, in that he said something about how kids today in schools are taught they are nothing but clumps of dirt who are here by random chance (I forget the exact wording he used), and that teaching people this sort of thing leads them to believe they are worthless.

I won’t really dispute that removing God from public life or promoting evolution may or can cause some people to lose a sense of meaning or purpose, or play into a feeling of hopelessness. Comfort may be right in assuming or arguing all that.

What troubled me was the emphasis of Christian spirituality as a “cure” for suicide or depression, which was put forth by both Comfort and the host, Matt Crouch. Crouch, for one, kept saying on this television program, that Jesus was “the answer” for suicide.

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• ‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

The article in question:

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson, via Aussie ABC news

My introductory comments:

Complementarians like to insist that their gender theology has nothing to do with domestic violence, but funny, isn’t it, how so many Christian wives who divorced their abusive Christian husbands remark how their husband would sometimes cite male headship or “wife submit” type Bible verses or complementarian concepts to justify their abuse?

I think it’s very deceitful for complementarians, on the one hand, to prop up this view that says it’s God’s (God’s! – talk about taking God’s name in vein) design for a husband to be in a boss-like or deity-like position of authority over a wife, but then feign ignorance at being able to connect the dots at seeing how such a sexist view could of course be used and misused by a husband to abuse his wife physically, emotionally, financially, or by some other means.

Most of the complementarian husbands who are not abusing their wives are not living out complementarianism proper, or taking to its logical conclusions or abusing its inherent unfairness to women, but are living out egalitarian marriages in practice (their marriages are complementarian in name only, which even complementarian Russell Moore pretty much recognized).

For complementarians who like to proclaim the “no true complementarian” fallacy (“no true complementarian husband would ever abuse his wife”), especially in regards to the correlation between domestic violence and complementarianism, I point you to this page on another blog:

John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy

For those complementarians who like to say complementarianism properly carried out and practiced is acceptable and not violent or sexist, I point you to this post on my blog:

Even Warm and Fuzzy, True, Correctly-Implemented Gender Complementarianism is Harmful to Women, and It’s Still Sexism – Yes All Comps (Refuting “Not All Comps”)

Here again is a link to the Aussie ABC news article, with portions of the article reproduced below (in my view, all of this, or about all of this, is applicable to American complementarianism and American Christianity):

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson

Snippets:

Research shows that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Church leaders in Australia say they abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it.

This is the second instalment of an ABC News and 7.30 investigation into domestic violence and religion. You can read part one in the series — on domestic violence and Islamhere.

….”Your problem is you won’t obey me. The Bible says you must obey me and you refuse,” he [Peter] yelled [at his wife Sally]. “You are a failure as a wife, as a Christian, as a mother. You are an insubordinate piece of s**t.”

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• Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mother Not Their Father, Say Scientists 

Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mother Not Their Father, Say Scientists 

This possibly has interesting implications for the sexist assumptions held by Christian gender complementarians:

Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mother Not Their Father, Say Scientists 

Genes for cleverness are carried on the X chromosome and may be deactivated if they come from the father

by Charlotte England

A mother’s genetics determines how clever her children are, according to researchers, and the father makes no difference.

Women are more likely to transmit intelligence genes to their children because they are carried on the X chromosome and women have two of these, while men only have one.

But in addition to this, scientists now believe genes for advanced cognitive functions which are inherited from the father may be automatically deactivated.

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• Velour Apparently (Was) Posting as Anonymous At Wartburg Whiners Blog – Also: Megs48 Posting to My Blog Same Person as Buzz English

Velour Apparently (Was) Posting as Anonymous At Wartburg Whiners Blog – Also: Megs48 Posting to My Blog Same Person as Buzz English

(this post has been updated below, July 15 and July 20)

In the midst of researching information for this post, I discovered that a suspicious poster on my blog here, Megs48, is linked to the Whiner blog.

If you are not familiar with the fall-out with a Wartburg Watch member named Velour, please see this post on this blog for background.

The WW blog (Wartburg Whiner) (link to that blog’s home page) is by a person (some  of whom feel is by an individual who goes by the names “Seneca Griggs”) who is obsessed with Deb, Dee, and the TWW (Wartburg Watch blog), but I am unsure who the author of the blog is.

The person who owns WW (“Whiner”) blog has posted to my blog before, under one of the earliest posts here (I am at least assuming this guy, “Buzz English” is the Whiner blog owner).

He showed up here on a much older post and was asking me what I “really” felt or believed about TWW, and her referred me to the Whiner blog. He seemed to be fishing for controversy.

And why would a random person online want my opinion on the Whiner blog, or on if TWW are “bullies,” unless said poster is also the owner who really, really hates Deb and Dee of TWW?

Someone whom I suspect is the WW guy – or a friend of his – who goes by the name “Megs48” – has posted to this Daisy blog a few times and refuses to clarify if she (or he) is in any way affiliated with WW blog; I have asked Megs about three times so far to please clarify her relationship with WW blog and she has not done so.

(Megs is very close to being blocked on this blog, by the way. Edit: well, keep reading. Yes, Megs has been banned, as has Buzz English.)

Oh, interesting. I just checked my blog’s membership information page to research who that earlier commentator was, and I see that the commentator, a “Buzz English,” and Megs48 are the same person.

Megs48 e-mail address contains the phrase “Buzz English” in it. Both screen names are using the same e-mail address to post to this blog, and they have one I.P.# in common. It’s the same person posting under two names. Deceitful stuff!

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• Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical. by Kate Shellnut

Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical. by Kate Shellnut

Gender Inclusivity Isn’t Liberal. It’s Biblical.

Snippets:

…The latest chatter centers around one of the newest: the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). This translation came out in March as an update to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), which Southern Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Christian Resources introduced about 15 years ago.

A recent article in The Atlantic compared the CSB’s use of inclusive language over masculine nouns for mixed-gender groups to the changes made in the 2011 New International Version (NIV) and the controversial Today’s New International Version (TNIV) before that, which Southern Baptists famously railed against.

…Gender inclusivity is a polarizing term among American evangelicals, especially those eager to preserve the distinctions between male and female that they see taught in Scripture. Now, CSB supporters have defended the translation’s “gender accurate” revisions as a means of faithful translation, rather than a progressive agenda.

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• Christian Gender Complementarian Analogies Do Not Work

Christian Gender Complementarian Analogies Do Not Work

Christian gender complementarians sure are fond of using analogies to support their views. Never mind that their analogies do not work, some are meaningless to some people, and some are arguably heretical.

One of the most favored analogies complementarians employ – to bolster their claim that they believe “women are equal to men in value or worth, just not in role” is to do something like say, “A private in the Army has as much inherent worth as a General, he just doesn’t have as much authority.”

Sometimes, complementarians will patronizingly compare a wife, a marriage, to a boss and employee relationship, in order to make a point that the husband (the boss) may have the “final say” over the wife (the employee), but they are both equal in value as persons.

The problem with such comparisons is that they are based in temporary situations that can change.

Someone who has joined the U.S. military can attend officer training school and shoot from a lower rank to a higher rank.

Even if starting at the bottom of the pile, whether we are talking a military or civilian occupation, and employee who shows dedication, talent, and skill – and possibly one who receives additional education – can be promoted. Today’s mail room subordinate can theoretically be tomorrow’s  C.E.O.

In the world of complementarianism, however, a woman is forever stuck in the same role, the same level, no matter how talented she is, or how dedicated or educated.

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• Christian Gender Complementarianism, Lists, Rules, Formulas and Over-Promises

Christian Gender Complementarianism, Lists, Rules, and Over-Promises

Evangelical Protestants and some Baptists have a strange habit of giving congregants lists, rules, or principles they imply will guarantee success. Success at life, marriage, work, dating, whatever it may be.

Very often I’ve heard Christian preachers on TV, and sometimes in person, deliver sermons with headings such as, “Fifteen Steps To Raising Godly Children,” or “Six Rules for Keeping the Sizzle in Your Marriage.”

I was never a part of Gothardism, but wasn’t Gothard rather infamous for promoting rule or biblical principle keeping as a recipe for Christian sanctification success?

Here are a few links about Gothardism, ones from other sites that mention some of the rules-defining and rules-based living this group endorsed:

Growing up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult

Wikipedia’s Bill Gothard Page

Mr Gothard’s Sexual Rules: Part One

I could’ve been a Duggar wife: I grew up in the same church, and the abuse scandal doesn’t shock me

Some complementarians also do this very thing.

Authors and complementarians Lori Alexander and Debi Pearl promote these sorts of views that if one just follows a certain set of complementarian- based principles or rules, that one’s marriage will last, thrive, and be successful.

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