Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Does Bruce Jenner have a mental illness? Is mental illness a sin?


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 Hello friends

I asked Robyn if she would allow me to do a blog on a recent  conversation that she had with a pastor and a godly man.  His name will not be divulged.

 Christian man- I'm not afraid to say it. Bruce Jenner isn't "brave". He's sadly mentally ill. Too bad so many are too PC to admit that.  Sin has led many to a state of mental illness. God turns them over to a reprobate mind, says Scripture.
 
Friend of man's response to his statement about Bruce Jenner. Bruce is a person who has a reprobate mind means a corrupt mind. According to the dictionary the word reprobate means: a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person.

Christian man- Exactly....read Christian counselor and apologist Jay Adams' work on the correlation between sin and mental illness. He makes a strong case. Not all mental illness is the result of sin, but some is.
 
 
Robyn   
What would you say his diagnosis is? Jay Adams has some good things to say, but he is way off (in my opinion) about mental illness saying it is the result of sin. People get mental illnesses just like they get cancer, diabetes or the flu. When an illness affects mood, thinking and behavior it seems odd and puts people off but it is a result of original sin. "Anger turned inward" or the sullen Cain (Adams' example) are just dated and embarrassingly wrong.

 How can we quote a writer who misunderstood mental illness, knew nothing of medications and claimed there was no medical proof-all of this from 1970? There is medical proof and many good and very godly people have some form of mental illness. I am passionate about this since we have a ministry helping and educating Christians on this very issue. Bruce Jenner is an unregenerate man who has issues, obviously, but I don't know of a mental illness that has his symptoms; bipolar? No. Major depression? Not that I know of. Panic Disorder? No. OCD?...I have never heard of him exhibiting any of these diseases.

 So, anyway, I know you can handle my feelings about this as a friend and colleague. Just wanted to jump in for a minute and you once said you were interested in reading our book. Broken Minds.  We (in a good spirit, I think) "take on" Jay Adams and the Nouthetic Counselors, the Spiritual Warfare groups and the Integrationists as to their beliefs of the causes and cures of mental illness. You can get Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It on Kindle or the old fashioned book format. You can also get it on our web site. Love you and your commitment to the Lord, just wanted to defend the mentally ill who sometimes don't feel adequate to speak up.

Christian man -

That's why I carefully said "some" and not "all", Robyn. Surely you don't believe that sinful actions like pornography, alcoholism, drug use, promiscuity, uncontrolled lust, etc, never have mental consequences. Some physical maladies are totally non-behavioral. Others are directly related to behavior. Heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer can sometimes be linked to behavior. I believe that a life of unrestrained lust can and does lead to mental confusion such as what Jenner is demonstrating. Clearly, some mental illness are indeed totally organic. With Adams, one does need to eat the meat and spit out the bones.

Robyn

No argument there.  I think the book we wrote would help you to see a broader scope than Jay Adams and whoever else is influencing you in your study. (And PLEASE don't take that as a condescending comment; I certainly do not mean it to sound that way). But, Steve wrote as a theologian and dealt strongly with the various schools of thought. I think it would be a wise investment for your library as you affect students and others in your large sphere of ministry. It is not a book that you would find too elementary, I'm sure.


 

 Steve deals with the Puritans as well as the modern trends in treating people who suffer agonizingly. Sometimes just leaving the thoughts with people that mental illnesses are a result of some sin (known or unknown to them) can be used detrimentally to a suffering saint who in the throes of an illness is having a hard time "finding God" anyway. When a person's mind (brain) is the part of them that copes and controls their behavior and affects their mood as these diseases do, the spiritual darkness is so deep sometimes that it drives them to suicide, feeling they have somehow "lost God" in the midst of their lives. Actually, this is the very reason that Kregel Publications wanted us to write the book. They knew the controversial ideas on the Christian and mental illness and wanted us to put it out there for the education of well-meaning people who inadvertently mislead people into an unnecessary over-examination of their personal spiritual health.

 
 "Miraculously" when the medicines work (not tranquilizers but mood stabilizers and SSRI and the others that restore the faulty brain chemistry), the neuroses and "spiritual sin" disappears. We know Bruce Jenner is messed up; we know MANY people are messed up in the world today,there are more sins than we could name, but Jay Adams and the Nouthetics have done a lot of harm to struggling saints who have a biological illness-the "smalled souled" the King James calls them. "Exhort the unruly and comfort the feeble minded;" not, vice versa.

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Please go to our web-site http://heartfeltmin.org/index.html   to see what Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is doing in today's world. If you would like to receive a copy or copies of our book, please go to the How do I Get Involved page.  If you mention in the Contact Us section that you would like to buy a copy of Broken Minds, we will adjust the cost to the following: First copy of Broken Minds will be give for a donation of   $25.00 and five or more copies after that are only $12.00 each. In order to pay you will need to scroll down to the donation button.