Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mental Illness awareness hits largest Protestant Denomination in the world.!

Dr. Ronnie Floyd
What happened at the Southern Baptist Convention?
by Dr. Ronnie Floyd,
Senior Pastor at Cross Church, Arkansas

On Tuesday, June 11, 2013, I presented a motion to the convention about the issue of ministering to those dealing with mental health challenges. My motion requested that the Executive Committee and the entities of the SBC work in cooperation to assist local churches in finding ways to minister to those suffering from mental health issues.

I feel so strongly about this issue — so many people in our church, community, and region are coping with mental illness. Did you know that 58 million Americans and 450 million people globally suffer with the enormous challenges presented by mental illness? My motion appealed to the SBC to be passionately pro-active about this concern and to start dialoging about ways to minister to those dealing with mental illness in a positive, hopeful manner.

So what happened? The Committee on Order of Business determined to refer my motion to the Executive Committee and the 11 entities of the SBC for consideration. I was asked to speak to the Convention for three minutes about the subject of mental illness, which I did. The good news is that yesterday the SBC messengers overwhelmingly approved a resolution. The approved resolution urges Southern Baptists to “oppose all stigmatization and prejudice” and supports “the wise use of medical intervention for mental health concerns when appropriate.”
As always, God is in control. It is my prayer that entire SBC will stand for and reach out to those struggling with mental illness.

For  the actual words of his statement and not just a summary.

End of Pastor Floyd's statement

From the Wartburg Press

Nouthetics part of Southern Baptist Convention.
Perhaps those who read our previous posts on biblical counseling saw the same RED FLAGS we did in those amendments — "sufficiency of Scripture as the final authority on all mental health issues" (which was defeated) and "godly biblical counsel" (which was affirmed).
In our upcoming post, we will expound on our concerns about 'biblical counseling' when used to treat mental illness. We are greatly concerned that phrases like 'biblical counseling' and 'godly biblical counsel' squeaked (sneaked) into the resolution approved by the SBC messengers. We have learned quite a bit about biblical / nouthetic counseling, and we are troubled that Christian counselors are implementing it.

Please continute to scroll down.

Rev. Steve Bloem's Response

Introduction, The first paragraph below is not mine.
There is another large issue that affects the SBC and mental health issues and that is the inevitable and career stifling stigma that follows any clergy admitting to clinical depression or other serious mental health problem. They instantly become damaged goods. Every community where I have served as pastor has a tale of a pastor who committed suicide. Perhaps the SBC will do something that has the potential to change such attitudes. I’m rather skeptical of its efficacy, though.


 I am a member of a Southern Baptist church. I trained at the undergraduate and the graduate levels to be a missionary or a pastor. I was ordained at a Baptist church in 1984. In January of 1985, I began to shown signs of a clinical depression. Since I had been trained that J. Adams was the one true light when it comes to counseling, I turned to him.  I was reading his book, Shepherding God’s Flock.  I could not sleep. I read it all night and into the morning. I had terminal insomnia which is a symptom of clinical depression. I found nothing in the book to help me.

Pastor, Do you have a case of the Nerves?
 I had never heard of Nouthetic Counseling or that J.Adams was the founder of it. I was being considered for a pastorate in central Florida. They were very positive until they found out I was depressed.  The chairman of the deacons and the pulpit committee called me and one man said, “Pastor, do you have a case of the nerves?”  And that was the end of that potential pastorate. 

Lafayette, Indiana was the Bastian of Nouthetic Counseling

  Later, my wife and I moved back to our home church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.I decided to go back to my Seminary which I respected.  My study involved attending a satellite school for my Master of Ministry and lo and behold it was at Faith Baptist Church in Lafayette, Indiana. They came on very strong against the  medical model of mental illness. I and vowed to write a definitive paper on the Christian and Mental Illness, and I wrote it. Much of my academic work was used when we wrote our book a few years later.

No longer considered for the ministry

I was no longer considered for the ministry; I was considered damaged goods. This is one of the reasons why my wife and I wrote a book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel like You're Losing It.  Kregel Publications afforded us a platform to explain in a biblical, personal and technical sense what biological/ clinical mental illness really is. I honestly believe that God allowed me to suffer this way for such a time as this and I am excited to see the issues finally and rightly being addressed. God bless!
Steve Bloem                                                                                           
Executive Director
Heartfelt (Counseling Ministries)

Steve Bloem has been trained in Suicide awareness and prevention. Robyn and Steve Bloem talk about suicide and ways to avoid it in their book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. The largest chapter is on suicide. If you would like more information please go this link:

If you would like Steve and Robyn to speak to your church, or your ministry or conduct a seminar called Whispers in the Foyer, An Honest Look at the Christian and Mental Illness, please go to our contact us page on our web site.!contact/cito

We also have an online CAMI support group which is available by way of the Internet. There is no charge except for a fee of $6.00 for the work book. If you live in Palm Beach County, we can counsel face to face. We are a non-profit agency who charges on a sliding scale. Please contact us through our web site above.

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