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Old 08-05-2019, 11:55 PM   #1
Melo
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Default Mental Health in the LC

I didn't see a forum talking about this, but if there is one already please let me know! This is thread to talk about LC views on mental health, your experiences with mental health and your Christian walk, etc..
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mental Health in the LC

My favorite thing about LSM literature is when you see something so wildly stupid you have to double check that you read it right.

(The Christian Life by Witness Lee, Ch. 5)...Today, cases of demon possession occur mostly in backward countries that are very primitive and poor. Many people in these backward countries do not have much education or knowledge. They are very poor and under all kinds of depression. The demons can have the opportunity to possess such persons. In modern countries many people are educated, so the opportunity for the demons to possess people is rare. Modern countries, however, are full of people with mental illness. Too much knowledge and education can be a factor of mental illness. In the primitive countries there are more cases of physical demon possession, but in the educated countries there are more people with psychological problems. At any rate, the Spirit is the means by which the demons can be cast out.
I'm not sure if I should start with the racism or just flat-out bogus claims. At least Lee is consistent; he doesn't provide citations for ANY of these claims.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mental Health in the LC

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My favorite thing about LSM literature is when you see something so wildly stupid you have to double check that you read it right.

I'm not sure if I should start with the racism or just flat-out bogus claims. At least Lee is consistent; he doesn't provide citations for ANY of these claims.
Everyone else these days can be called a racist, so WL must be also?

But if everyone can be called a racist, then does the word still have value?
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mental Health in the LC

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I didn't see a forum talking about this, but if there is one already please let me know! This is thread to talk about LC views on mental health, your experiences with mental health and your Christian walk, etc..
I think this is a conversation worth having. Mental health is a stigma already so much in our society, and even more so in the local churches, where people are just told to "keep praying" as if only prayer can solve everything. The stigma to going to therapists and then the seclusion by LC members when another member is thought to be mentally ill, it's heartbreaking. I've personally received attacks of opinion by former LC sisters who WITHIN THE WINTER CONFERENCE, told me to pay special attention to what Ron Kangas is speaking because they feel it pertains to me. I would look at the ministry outline and then see that the bullet points they refer to imply that I'm of Satan and the Devil and such. It's a medieval concept in my opinion. Being a mental health advocate, I cannot stress the importance of being supported to seek mental health professionals outside of church. Spirituality can help along with therapy but not by itself. At least, that's how I feel. You can differ in your opinions.

Not to mention the repercussions whenever someone is excommunicated, quarantined, kicked out, and rumors are spread behind their backs. The mental health toll is even greater for all those who speak out or voice what is wrong in the LC. Because of exclusion. It reminds me of those high school mean girls.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:32 PM   #5
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Everyone else these days can be called a racist, so WL must be also?

But if everyone can be called a racist, then does the word still have value?
We could probably add racism to the list of the fruit of the flesh. I recognize that in me (flesh) is a dislike for anyone that's not just like me - and I think even if I met someone just like me I wouldn't like them either!

Calling someone a racist and thinking you are much better is an indicator that you think you are something in yourself, and is like saying you don't have sin . . .
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #6
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I didn't see a forum talking about this, but if there is one already please let me know! This is thread to talk about LC views on mental health, your experiences with mental health and your Christian walk, etc..
It is an interesting topic. And what WL said was also interesting . . . I don't know about all that - does education protect someone from demon possession? Hmmmm - I don't agree (but then again, what do I know?).

Personally I'm a little leery of psychology in general. I think there's probably good and bad, as with everything, and we all hear stories both ways. I've really only one personal story to relate along these lines.

I was going through a divorce and was wondering a bit what had gone wrong. My (now ex) wife always said I didn't know how to love, and she was right. I managed my employees then came home and managed my family. I thought working hard, providing a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and clothes on their back was doing everything. This is pretty much what I got when I was growing up, and very little in the love and affection department. Those raising me (grandparents) just didn't show much love, and we sort of tolerated each other it seemed.

So I sought out a marriage/family councilor. (BTW - She was not listed as a Christian councilor.) She listened to my story and how I was raised for maybe two or three sessions. Then at one point I said, "I guess I just don't know how to love others." She replied and said, "Well how could you? You didn't have any good role models growing up!" Wow - the lights went on! I had been beating myself up (condemnation) in much frustration over this issue for over 15 years. My ex-wife kept trying to show me how unloving I was, however it was like a foreign language to me. But what this councilor said just made so, so much sense and was liberating!

I did maybe another session or two with this counselor, but there was no need to continue as I saw things much clearer. As I look back, I can see this was part of a journey the Lord took me on. Within a fairly short time after that, He began to show me that His love was really the main key to understanding the Bible, His purpose with me and mankind, and everything!

My bottom-line advice regarding counseling, would be to really seek Him beforehand and take the whole matter to Him in prayer. Ask Him what he wants you to do. If you do go for counseling, give it to Him and ask for His wisdom and guidance, so that the counseling is well covered by Him.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:01 PM   #7
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Melo,

Before I address psychiatry within Christianity, I'll start by asking you this;

Do you truly believe Jesus raised people from the dead? Do you also believe he instantly delivered that boy from epilepsy, and the man at the tombs from his dissociative identity disorder? If you do and He is able to do those things then do you think there is any mental health issue that can pose a problem to God?

By pure virtue of being God's Son, Jesus healed all manners of illness; mental, physical, and spiritual. Jesus was perfect in his weakness so that God could be strong for those people. We however will always struggle with pride. It's important to note; God did heal people through Jesus for the purpose of His testimony, but God also left a thorn in Paul's side so His power can be made perfect in Paul's weakness.

All that to say that God may not heal us of whatever we ask of Him but He will do so as a testimony pointing to Him if He chooses. Does He do so because He's some kind of narcissist and needs all attention directed at Him? No, of course not. It's because He knows He's the only one that can save you! There are times though where God will allow discomfort or even illness so that He can perfect our faith and so we draw closer to Him.

With that said. I myself have been through the mental health ringer prior to becoming a Christian. I know alot about it through not only research but also personal experience.

There are many aspects to the field of mental health including drug therapy, cognitive therapy, counseling, ect. There's no one size fits all approach but certain things that psychiatry offers can definitely be of use to us. Like StG mentioned, sometimes just talking to a professional about your issues can help tremendously.

What I am opposed to, however, is the thought that psychiatry can make a person whole. At that point, it becomes a religion in itself...

It's important to understand that psychiatry has it's limitations and can at best help to serve as a crutch. God is the one who created our minds, and only He has the solution to this problem. Psychiatry deals with patching up a broken mind where as God's in the business of providing us with a new mind, the mind of His Son.

Prior to my relationship with God, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I read the books, tried all sorts of medications, and sought out counseling but in the end none of it really healed me. After loosing hope in medicine I thought to myself; if it wasn't merely a lack of general knowledge, chemical imbalances, or negative thought patterns then what was the problem? I just couldn't understand what the real cause of my depression was...

Fast forward to today, I can now tell you exactly what the root of my depression was. In short, it was hopelessness.

Before Christ, I was agnostic. I didn't know anything about God or the bible. But I still had a conscience. Throughout my life I've made many efforts in resisting my conscience and in doing so I resisted God Himself without actually realizing it.

I now know that only in Jesus do we have real lasting hope. Ever since becoming a Christian the depression that once plagued my life was gone in an instant and has never returned... and I've had some extremely challenging trials since then! It's unexplainable what true hope in Christ can provide us in the midst of life's tribulations. Only God can plant this kind of hope in our hearts.

I've said this before and I'll say it again; when the LC's tell you that God is the answer to your mental problems, they're absolutely right. However they are wrong because they fail to lead people to God so they can be healed. Instead you're taught cognitive therapy via dissociative mind-emptying practises (aka mysticism) but all this does is temporarily provide a fleeting sense of comfort. So in short; do as they say and reach out to God. But don't reach out to God as they do.

Melo, if you're resisting your conscience toward Him in any way, today's the day to change that. He's faithful to provide you a way no matter how difficult things may seem. I can testify to this. Trust Him.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mental Health in the LC

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I now know that only in Jesus do we have real lasting hope. Ever since becoming a Christian that depression that once plagued my life was gone in an instant and has never returned... and I've had some extremely challenging trials since then! It's unexplainable what true hope in Christ can provide us in the midst of life's tribulations. Only God can plant this kind of hope in our hearts.

I've said this before and I'll say it again; when the LC's tell you that God is the answer to your mental problems, they're absolutely right. However they are wrong because they fail to lead people to God so they can be healed. Instead you're taught cognitive therapy via dissociative mind-emptying practises (aka mysticism) but all this does is temporarily provide a fleeting sense of comfort. So in short; do as they say and reach out to God. But don't reach out to God as they do.

Melo, if you're resisting your conscience toward Him in any way, today's the day to change that. He's faithful to provide you a way no matter how difficult things may seem. I can testify to this. Trust Him.
Great testimony and also insight regarding the LC!
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:17 PM   #9
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@Jo S I'm happy to hear that you found happiness through God in such a dynamic way! I hear this wonderful story countless times in many hymns and spiritual songs, and I think it encapsulates many people's salvation.

However, the human psyche, much like the human spirit is a complex system. I noticed that you said you did try medicine and therapy to no avail. Some people with clinical depression do find success with variations of medicine, CBT, and strong support systems.

Part of being a Christian, I believe, is finding the balance between practical steps to help ourselves and spiritual guidance that we won't always understand. For instance, it would be foolish for someone to say to someone with a broken leg to simply pray to God for it to heal. God works through men, and to forsake medical care would be foolish.

I think the problem lies in Christians who focus only on doctrine rather than what a person may need in the moment. Humans are after all, emotional beings (no matter how much I like to think of myself as perfectly rational lol).

For a Christian going through a depressive stage, they may not receive much life from being simply told that they need to turn to God, pray, etc.. It may be 100% true, but it may not reach them in the way that you'd hope like to. Often times this can actually have a reverse effect, causing them to associate spirituality with this feeling of helplessness and isolation (this is more based on my own experience and LC members I've talked to on this topic so I'm not trying to apply this to EVERY case of this kind). Sometimes you have to take care of someone humanly, whether that be through medical intervention or just being there to support.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:20 PM   #10
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Sons to Glory! I'm so glad you found the help you needed to go on in the Lord! I think that was a wise balance between talking to a therapist and finding true happiness in God!
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:40 PM   #11
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However, the human psyche, much like the human spirit is a complex system. I noticed that you said you did try medicine and therapy to no avail. Some people with clinical depression do find success with variations of medicine, CBT, and strong support systems.
Yes, I did give medication and psychotherapy a try. I suppose the term "success" is somewhat subjective. And just to be clear, I don't discount the fact that these things can save lives in desperate circumstances.

However in more common situations, I'd liken medicating the mind with anti-depressants to using morphine. Going with your leg analogy, someone with a broken leg and a shot of morphine may claim success while another notices that even though the pain is subdued the leg's still broken. Medication may help you get through the day, but it won't provide a lasting solution. And with medication there's the strong possibility of forming dependency.

For a time after I gave up on psychiatry, I took up exercise in it's stead. This also helped me get along but still couldn't provide my soul with what it was desperately searching for.

Like I said before, I didn't have faith in God so I didn't have any prejudice toward psychiatry initially going in. In fact I invested all my hope and faith into it yet in the end it left me disappointed. However I'm grateful for the experience. Even though I felt even more hopeless afterwards, it afforded me the time and opportunity to continue searching.

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[B]Sometimes you have to take care of someone humanly, whether that be through medical intervention or just being there to support.
I totally agree with this last bit. Earlier on, I personally don't think I would've made it with the support of others. But knowing that no person or group of people can carry one's burdens indefinitely is something that we need to be aware of as well. Those that truly care for you will convey this to you.

Going back to your analogy, once your leg heals you no longer need crutches. Support from others can help regain and maintain stability but they can't heal you, only God can do that. Using support is perfectly fine. We're human and we stumble so it does help to have caring people around that can help us when we lose balance and vise versa. But that has nothing to do with psychiatry, that's just basic humanity. You have to be able to separate the two. But the thing to really watch out for is complacency.

At the point where you start becoming dependent on medication, dependent on others (or even a ministry), and/or develop confirmation bias seeking only that which agrees with and affirm your views is when you have to start looking within and looking up. In weakness and desperation we tend to take advantage of the help available to us as a way to continue curbing our guilty conscience because the truth is turning to God reveals those wrinkles we'd rather stay oblivious to.

You're right Melo, human beings are extremely complex. So much so that we need the One who created us to piece us back together. And just as it is with a broken bone, our broken minds need nutrients to rebuild and heal but even before this we need a good doctor to assess the entire situation, and not just focus on the symptoms...And this where the real issue arises...

The truth is it's not necessarily the mind that needs addressing, it's our soul. And our souls can't be addressed without first addressing sin. What makes Christianity unique is it not only identifies the real cause of our hopelessness and despair but it's also provides the lasting solution. The manifestation of mental health issues truly are symptoms of a much deeper underlying problem of the human condition.

But as I alluded to earlier, rather than seeing the value of the human soul and properly differentiating and separating it from sin, Watchman Nee grouped the two together and in doing so devalued both in error. And then he and later Lee proceeded to teach methods of how to dissociate from both rather than just isolating and addressing sin directly. It really screws with people's minds because this approach inadvertently attacked the individual's sense of self...Understanding that, my heart truly goes out to those that had these doctrines imposed on them especially the one's that grew up in the Local Churches...

With that, all what I'm trying to say has already been reduced to three words in scripture..."repent and believe". That truly is the answer. I'm sorry if that was never conveyed to you in love, Melo, but if it is please make every effort to take notice.

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Part of being a Christian, I believe, is finding the balance between practical steps to help ourselves and spiritual guidance that we won't always understand. For instance, it would be foolish for someone to say to someone with a broken leg to simply pray to God for it to heal. God works through men, and to forsake medical care would be foolish.
Melo, if you care for more practical advise, I recommend you find a support group of individuals that have completely severed ties with the Local Churches and have continued on in the faith (some of which are here) or if you decide on pursuing psychiatric help, I would recommend exit counseling for you.
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