• For Most, Jesus and the Gospels Are Not the Answer for Depression, Suicide, and Other Mental Health Maladies (Part 2)

For Most, Jesus and the Gospels Are Not the Answer for Depression, Suicide, and Other Mental Health Maladies (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

A lot of Christians out there, especially hyper conservative ones who distrust secular (or even Christian) psychology or psychiatry, incorrectly want to attribute most mental health problems to personal sin only, and they will often prescribe ineffective means of solving mental health problems, such as, accepting Jesus as savior, Bible reading, church attendance, faith, prayer, volunteering at charities, etc.

I would add Christian apologist Ray Comfort to that list, at least somewhat. Comfort does not strike me as being as severe in those views as other Christians I’ve come across, though.

As I explained in Part 1, Comfort has recently released a film called “Exit: The Appeal of Suicide” that he was interviewed about on TBN the other night. He seems to feel that only Non-Christians, or Christians who lack a faith in God’s promises, will suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts. I disagree.

BIOLOGICAL CAUSES

I suspect that depression and anxiety may be partially based in biological causes in my own family, because it runs on both sides of my family.

My mother’s side had a lot of anxiety and depression, and there were a lot of suicides on my father’s side of the family tree.

CANNOT BE TREATED OR CURED BY WILL POWER ALONE

This brings me to another point: a lot of Christians shame people, especially other Christians, for having mental conditions, such as anxiety or depression.

Christians treat having a mental health problem as a spiritual failing (such as having a lack of faith), or as a matter of will power: if you just tough it out and pick yourself up by your bootstraps, you can halt the mental disorder. That is not how mental health works.

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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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• So, You’re a Christian Perpetual Victim and Great Big Christian Loser? Regarding Worm Theology

So, You’re a Christian Perpetual Victim and Great Big Christian Loser? Regarding Worm Theology

(This post has been edited at the end)

A few years ago, I was listening to conservative Christian (and later to become a pastor) Chris Rosebrough on one of his podcasts.

On one podcast (sorry I cannot recall the specific one, or I would link you right to it), he was critiquing mega-church preacher Joel Osteen – or, one of Osteen’s sermons, I should say. (Though Rosebrough did sometimes make fun of Osteen’s big teeth on his program.)

I need to qualify a few things up front.

I do not believe in or agree with prosperity Gospel teachings.

Osteen is seemingly a “prosperity Gospel” believer, much of his theology is shallow, and he’s so keen to be well-liked by everyone, he is hesitant to tell national television journalists that Christianity is, in one way, an exclusive belief set (that is, belief in Christ, and only Christ, is necessary for salvation, and there is no other way – not Christ plus someone or something else).

During the podcast I listened to, Rosebrough played audio of a sermon by Osteen, complete with Osteen’s old opening theme song, which had a woman singing, “Bring out the Champion in you!,” if I remember the lyrics correctly (it had lyrics with something to do with being a champion).

During TV shows, Osteen usually tells his viewers, “You are a victor, not a victim!”

I would assume that this phrase (or the one in his old TV show theme song) is based upon the following verse:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (source)

During play back of this audio, Rosebrough would pause, after phrases such as “you’re a champion,” to say, “No, you’re not,” or after, “You’re a victor…” to say, “No you’re not.”

My memory is hazy here (and I am in no mood to re-listen to any and all Rosebrough programs to double check this), but I believe he also may have added the comment, “You’re a sinner.”

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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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• Roman Catholicism and Abuse Survivor Blogs

Roman Catholicism and Abuse Survivor Blogs

About 12 or 13 years ago, I did a lot of reading about Roman Catholicism. (I was brought up Baptist, and I’ve been in a questioning phase myself the last few years – as in, I don’t know how much I consider the Christian faith true or not, and how relevant is the Bible to me today, and so on and so forth.)

I came to the conclusion that I disagree with a lot of Roman Catholic views and theology. (Please be careful here and keep reading – my main concern with this post is not Roman Catholic beliefs per se.)

I’ve had Roman Catholic friends and co-workers over the course of my life, and I’ve met some here and there on other sites, and all are friendly and fine people.

However, I cannot come to share the view that Roman Catholicism is Christianity.

I can grant Catholics that there are issues with sola scriptura (as you may be aware, Roman Catholics frown on sola scriptura, to put Papal ex cathedra, their Magisterium, and Church Tradition on par with the written Word), but unlike other questioning Baptists (or Protestants), or those who feel they’ve been hurt or wronged by the Protestant or Baptist church, I don’t see the correction to that to be to dump sola scriptura and run out and join Roman Catholicism.

With our without sola scriptura, Roman Catholicism has its share of problematic theology.

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• Be Cautious: Faux Niceness, Victim-Bullies, and Survivor Abuse Blogs

Be Cautious: Faux Niceness, Victim-Bullies, and Survivor Abuse Blogs

 (this post has been updated below, July 5, as well as July 7, July 11, July 15)

Velour and Christiane continue to discuss TWW on Wade’s Istoria blog in this thread as late as July 14 / 15

Update to this post, a part 2: 

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


This will be a very, very long post. You may want to get a cup off coffee while you read it.

I really do not want my blog here to turn into a running commentary on other blogs, such as TWW (The Wartburg Watch), but because I don’t feel as free to openly express myself at TWW, and that I don’t want to create any drama on other people’s blogs, I feel more comfortable posting some thoughts here on my blog.

That I don’t feel completely comfortable expressing all my views in their entirety at TWW in and of itself should be an indicator that something is amiss at TWW (and similar blogs, groups, and forums).

In this post, I believe I need to discuss certain personalities and not only general phenomenon.

I’m sorry if this makes me look as though I am being mean or petty, but in my view, certain persons have played a role in some of the negative dynamics going on at TWW.

The persons I will be focusing on the most in this post are TWW participants Velour and Christiane.

I think Deb and Dee are doing a good thing with TWW: their blog exists mostly to highlight the authoritarian natures of many churches and pastors, and the abuse that results in, and they also discuss the poor job churches do at preventing child sexual abuse – all of which is admirable.

My blog post here is not intended to be “anti TWW” or “anti Deb” or “anti Dee.” I hope it is not taken in that way.

I think most of the commentators at TWW are good, fine people – but a few are “bad apples,” and many of the rest are naive and seem blind to what is going on.

I’ve seen about two or three people who post there who I think are savvy to what’s been going on, but they don’t feel at ease coming right out and directly saying what’s on their mind on TWW. They drop mild hints instead. (Except for one fine post I spotted by member Beaker J. That is one of the few exceptions; more on that below.)

When posting to a blog such as TWW, one sort of feels a mild pressure to express their thoughts very obliquely, because the culture of the blog does not allow for direct communication.

(Direct communication is often viewed on many Christian sites, especially Abuse Recovery ones, as being mean and heartless. This is an un-spoken rule at blogs such as TWW; you pick up on it after lurking or posting there for awhile.)

I think at one time that TWW was a safe place for a person to share his or her story. If you’ve ever been hurt by a church, a doctrine, or a set of Christians, that blog was, at one time, a safe spot to share.

Somewhere in the last few months, or over the past year, things changed at TWW.  It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly when things in the comment box there shifted.

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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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