• After Struggle with Mental Illness, Megachurch Pastor Fatally Shoots Himself

After Struggle with Mental Illness, Megachurch Pastor Fatally Shoots Himself

As this news story shows, even a church preacher can struggle with depression and suicidal ideation.

Christians, most of you continue to teach a false “mental health gospel” that either goes like this:

“Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior will make you immune from  mental health problems,”
Or, your false mental health Gospel goes like this:
“Okay, you’re already a Christian, you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Savior, so if you are experiencing depression, or some other sort of mental health issue, it’s you’re fault, and you can fix it by (-insert spiritual activity here, e.g, more Bible reading, church attendance, prayer, etc-).”

(I’ve even seen some Southern Baptists reason in that manner, when they always scoff at other Christians who believe in a Physical Health and Wealth Gospel.)

The truth is, Jesus is not the answer for everything, the Bible is not a solution for everything, and the Christian faith does not make everything right in a person’s life.

Being a Christian – one who led a church no less – certainly did not heal this man of his problem with depression.

Jesus may be great for keeping someone out of Hell when they die, but the older I get, I’m having a difficult time seeing what use Jesus is for earthly problems.

After struggle with mental illness, megachurch pastor Jim Howard fatally shoots himself

by L. Blair

Jim Howard, lead pastor of the Valencia campus of the more than 6,000 member Real Life Church in California fatally shot himself in the head at home Wednesday after a protracted battle with mental illness.

“It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm we suffered a tragic loss on our church staff this week. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Jim Howard — a beloved pastor here at RLC — took his own life,” Rusty George, lead pastor of Real Life Church began in a statement released on Facebook last Thursday.

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• Conservatives Rage Over (APA) Report That Finds Toxic Masculinity is Bad For Men’s Health by Z. Ford

Conservatives Rage Over Report That Finds Toxic Masculinity is Bad For Men’s Health by Z. Ford


Disclaimer. I’m offering this reminder and disclaimer upfront for anyone who may be new to this blog, or who is not familiar with me: I am a conservative.

I have never been a liberal, and I don’t go by a feminist label.

However, I do find some merit in some points liberals or feminists have to say on some topics, with Toxic Masculinity being one of them.

Unfortunately, most conservatives misunderstand what the phrase “Toxic Masculinity” means.

In very brief terms, here is what Toxic Masculinity does NOT mean:

-it does not mean that masculinity is bad or wrong;
-it does not mean that all boys and men are rapists, sexists, or abusers of girls and women;
-it does not necessarily mean that boys and men should have to take on traits considered feminine and behave like stereotypical girls

So although I am a conservative, and the following appears on a liberal website, I find it has some merit. Just because an idea or view comes from liberals or feminists doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong.

I, a conservative, agree with most of the article…


I have a lot of comments to make below this really long excerpt…

Conservatives Rage Over Report That Finds Toxic Masculinity is Bad For Men’s Health

by Zack Ford
January 2019

New psychological guidelines for improving the health and safety of boys and men have conservatives outraged.

The American Psychological Association has issued new guidelines designed to improve both the safety and mental health of men and boys. Many of the recommendations involve dismantling aspects of masculinity that inhibit wellness, which has conservatives up in arms that men are under attack.

In the ensuing debate this week, conservative pundits, columnists, and religious figures have indicated that they believe masculinity is biological and fundamental, leading them to conclude that the report is purely political.

But what the APA actually highlights is that men themselves are harmed by the way society conditions them to conform to traditional stereotypes of masculinity.

Not only are those stereotypes not inherent, but there are ways men can be men without conforming to them.

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• Parents Say Priest Emphasized ‘Suicide Is A Sin’ At Their Son’s Funeral

Parents Say Priest Emphasized ‘Suicide Is A Sin’ At Their Son’s Funeral

Some of the most un-empathetic people on the face of the planet are people who say they believe in and follow Jesus of Nazareth.

They often will prioritize cramming what they believe to be their correct doctrine down people’s throats over showing consideration of people’s feelings.

They will choose the wrong place and wrong time to lecture others on what they feel to be correct biblical belief, even if doing so causes additional emotional pain to the people within earshot. Even if doing so may push people farther away from Jesus of Nazareth.

And of course, a lot of Christians continue to hold negative, false views about mental health disorders and how they should be treated.

Parents Say Priest Emphasized ‘Suicide Is A Sin’ At Their Son’s Funeral

Funeral homily backlash: ‘We pull off funerals well, but we don’t do a good job preparing people for them’

Are Christians who commit suicide condemned to Hell?

Responding to the question of whether or not Christians who commit suicide go to Heaven, ethicist Russell Moore said that because the blood of Christ covers sins past, present and future, the “last thing we do” does not determine where we will spend eternity.

What to Remember After Priest Condemns Suicide at Funeral of Student Who Died by Suicide

On Dec. 4, 18-year-old University of Toledo student Maison Hullibarger died by suicide. Maison was a passionate, straight-A student and stand-out athlete adored by friends and family. Instead of celebrating his life, Don LaCuesta, the priest presiding over Hullibarger’s funeral, questioned suicide in the eyes of God. LaCuesta’s actions highlight the need for a better understanding of mental health and suicide in some Christian communities.

…According to Hullibarger’s parents, Linda and Jeff Hullibarger, they met with LaCuesta in advance and asked that he focus on Maison’s life, not his death. The Hullibarger’s told the Detroit Free Press they discussed their wishes in detail and LaCuesta took notes. During the service, however, LaCuesta focused his homily on suicide, even after Jeff walked up to the pulpit and asked him to stop.

“He was up there condemning our son, pretty much calling him a sinner. He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven. He said ‘suicide’ upwards of six times,” Jeff told the Detroit Free Press. “There were actually a couple of younger boys who were Maison’s age who left the church sobbing.”

…“The stigma surrounding mental illness, especially in Christian communities, keeps people locked in prisons of shame, refusing to admit that they need help,” Steve Austin, a pastor and mental health advocate, told The Mighty. “Yes, Christians can and do struggle with mental illness. People need to know that they are not alone, and you can still be a Christian and have a mental illness…. I’m a pastor and I once attempted suicidebecause my brain has an illness, no different from heart disease or cancer.”

Why It’s So Difficult for Catholic Priests to Eulogize Suicide

Maison Hullibarger’s parents describe the 18-year-old college freshman as “passionate and opinionated,” a strong student and a devoted Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

So when Maison killed himself on Dec. 4, his parents wanted to plan a funeral service that would capture the way he lived, not the way he died. Jeff and Linda Hullibarger met with the priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Temperance, Michigan, and requested an uplifting message.

To their horror, however, the Rev. Don LaCuesta delivered a homily that acknowledged Maison’s suicide explicitly and contemplated the fate of his eternal soul.

Jeff Hullibarger was so disturbed that he says he approached the priest in the pulpit as he spoke, and whispered: “Father, please stop.”


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1- 800- 273- 8255
Available 24 hours everyday


More On This Blog:

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

1 in 3 Protestant Churchgoers Personally Affected by Suicide

Inappropriate Responses or Attitudes Towards Suicide Victims

After Struggle with Mental Illness, Megachurch Pastor Fatally Shoots Himself

How The Bible Can Be Damaging to People with Depression via Patheos Blog

Regarding Grief, Sickness and Depression: Hold Your Tongue and Offer Your Heart Instead by Heather Plett

Dear Ray Comfort and David Barton: Depression is Not a Culture War Battle by Warren Throckmorton

One of the Best Things Churches Can Do for People With Mental Illness by A. Simpson

• Suicide Survivor Urges People to Ask For Help At Loneliest Time of the Year by L. Middelton

Suicide Survivor Urges People to Ask For Help At Loneliest Time of the Year

Suicide Survivor Urges People to Ask For Help At Loneliest Time of the Year

It’s billed as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ – but for many the holiday season can be isolating, lonely and a struggle to get through.

Jody Betty attempted suicide on New Year’s Eve in 2011 after finding herself in a ‘hard spot’ over the festive period.

The 47-year-old, who now works in trauma recovery coaching and mental health peer support, has battled borderline personality disorder, major depressive order, anxiety and compound PTSD for most of her life.

‘I was done. I guess that day I just couldn’t see any hope,’ Jody told Metro.co.uk about her suicide attempt. ‘I find that depression sucks your ability to feel joy.  I just felt so dark that there was no return.’

Jody’s mother died when she was 19 and she doesn’t have a close relationship with her father, leaving her with no family members to spend the holidays with.

…‘Sometimes I think people just put that much pressure on that they can’t imagine another day. ‘It becomes scarier to face another day then it is to die.’ Jody, from Mississauga, Canada, first tried to kill herself when she was just eight years old.

Her early life had been spent moving from foster home to foster home, four of which was sexually abused in, all before the age of two.

She starting seeing a therapist when her mother died but found the treatment didn’t work for her, eventually giving it up.

But in 2015, five years after her New Year’s Eve suicide attempt, she broke down and restarted therapy, of which she continues still to do this day.

Her work in suicide prevention has since led her to pen an open letter to anyone contemplating ending their life entitled ‘I want you to want to live’.

‘If I could say something to myself before my suicide attempt, I would just say keep going,’ Jody said. ‘To anyone out there struggling – I’m not going to tell you everything is going to be ok. Instead I say hang on because you don’t know.

To read the rest of that article click here


More:

‘We Are Never Alone’: Embracing The Pain That Grips Many of Us During the Christmas Season by M. Dowd

Why We Get Depressed At The Holidays, And How To Deal by C. Gregoire

• ‘We Are Never Alone’: Embracing The Pain That Grips Many of Us During the Christmas Season by M. Dowd

‘We Are Never Alone’: Embracing The Pain That Grips Many of Us During the Christmas Season by M. Dowd

‘We Are Never Alone’: Embracing The Pain That Grips Many of Us During the Christmas Season by M. Dowd

• Female Veterinarians, Through the Use of Euthanasia Drugs, are Committing Suicide in Record Numbers

Female Veterinarians, Through the Use of Euthanasia Drugs, are Committing Suicide in Record Numbers

Female Veterinarians, Through the Use of Euthanasia Drugs, are Committing Suicide in Record Numbers

Dec 20, 2018
by Kimberly Leonard

Female veterinarians are far more likely to kill themselves than the general population, and the majority of deaths among women occur because they have taken euthanasia drugs from their practices, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts have been aware for several decades that vets had a particularly high incidence of suicide, but until now they didn’t know how pronounced it was among women.

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• Global Suicide Rate Has Declined, but Suicide Rates Have Increased in American Rural Areas (2018)

Global Suicide Rate Has Declined, but Suicide Rates Have Increased in American Rural Areas

Suicide hits rural America the hardest

December 2018

Suicide rates have been steadily rising over the past several years throughout the U.S., but the trend has hit rural areas the hardest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

…Between the lines: There’s no one explanation for the trend.

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