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

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

I myself just wrote a Part 1 and Part 2 about the very same subject – Christian apologist Ray Comfort’s movie about suicide, called “No Exit.”

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

What I appreciate about Throckmorton’s take on this is that he plainly puts it out there that Comfort (while perhaps well-intentioned) is making depression and suicide evangelization tools. That was something I noticed too in Comfort’s presentation of the topic on TBN’s “Praise” program but didn’t think to mention it.

Comfort seems to be using depression and suicide as apologetic tools by which to convince Non-Christians, including atheists, to accept Jesus as Savior.

One problem of this, as I noted in Part 1 and Part 2, is that as someone who was a Christian for many years, and who used to have clinical depression for over two decades (along with suicidal ideation and anxiety) is that being a Christian did not deliver me from the depression (or anxiety or thoughts of suicide).

Depression is Not a Culture War Battle

by Warren Throckmorton

Excerpts:

During his April 21 Wallbuilders Live broadcast, David Barton had Ray Comfort on to discuss his new movie about suicide, Exit.  I intend to watch and review the movie but for now I want to advise readers to be wary.

For the most part, the advice given during this episode about depression and suicide is not helpful and in fact for some could be counterproductive.

….Suicide is Not a Cultural War Issue

Good intentions or not, there is a troubling thread here which continues throughout the program. The hosts and the guest treats suicide like it is a culture war battle — Christians on one side and non-Christians on the other.

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• 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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• If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

I could have also headed this post, ‘If you act like prey, you will be treated like prey.’

One theme I have seen in numerous books, articles, television programs, and blog posts I have read on topics ranging from boundaries, people pleasing, workplace abuse, crime prevention, domestic violence, school yard bullying, to Animal Planet channel’s My Cat From Hell television show (seriously!) is that individuals looking to hurt or exploit another individual almost always seek out the most vulnerable-looking target.

Bullies, abusers, con artists, and predators usually do not seek out strong, self-confident, or healthy victims. (There are exceptions, but that is a general rule, based upon much reading I’ve done.)

It’s important to note upfront that my post is not intended to be victim-blaming. I am, rather, a big fan of prevention.

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• Why Keeping a Diary Helps You Move On And Even Improves Your Heart Health – Daily Mail

This article focuses on divorce, but I think its advice is applicable to other life problems.

I discussed healing and moving past painful ordeals in a previous post or two. I had depression for many years, and after my mother died a few years ago, I had to find healthy ways to cope with the grief.

One method I used was writing. I used to write by pen in an old notebook. These days, I might blog about something, or write posts on someone else’s blog. I’ve found writing does help.

Why Keeping a Diary Helps You Move On And Even Improves Your Heart Health – Daily Mail by Alexandra Thompson

Here are some snippets from that page:

Struggling to cope with a divorce? Keeping a diary helps you move on and even improves your heart health

  • Expressing feelings by telling a story of your relationship has notable benefits
  • Writing lowers the heart’s rate and increases its beat variability, boosting health
  • Telling a story has advantages over expressing feelings or recording activities

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