Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pastoral Considerations and Obessive Compulsive Disorder.

Steve Bloem, copyright 2016. all rights reserved.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, O.C.D., is an anxiety disorder that is  characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these "rituals," however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.  O.C.D. is not a personality disorder.  It is treated effectively by Serotonin Selective Re-uptake Inhibitors , Some of these are: Zoloft,Celexa, and Lexapro. Behavior management has also had some success in treating this disease. 

Pastoral Considerations and O.C.D.
There is a pastoral consideration that needs to be addressed.What is the difference between temptation to sin and an obsession?   All of us  have to deal with thoughts that are are sinful and even blasphemous.  There is a difference, of course between the  temptation  sin and the actual act of sinning (James 1:13-17), yet we also know that thoughts can be sinful when we act on and accept them. The common saying "''you can't stop a bird from flying over your head but you can stop him from building a nest there. The difference is a conundrum for people who have O.C.D.

 Where then, does theology fit in treating O.C.D.? Most secular psychiatrists, suicidal workers and psychologists  do not believe in a literal devil or demonic hosts That doesn't mean that everything these professionals  say is wrong, but Christians should keep in mind, that a secular therapist may not not be able to recognize spiritual forces at work.  Demons do have schemes by which they use  to discourage, depress, and make the child of God is displeased.  


Think of how Satan can use unbidden thought of O.C.D. to burden with guilt,
There is an ongoing debate about whether demons have access to the mind.  They are not omniscient but they are celestial beings who have studied humans for at least ten thousand years.  Since they are beings of rank and intelligence, and they are spirit (ethereal beings), it would be feasible to think
that they can have access to the mind.   I see no reason to believe the Devil and his demons cannot attack the mind by throwing his fiery darts in some sort of metaphysical communication that exists among celestial beings. 

Look at Jesus Christ, the God-Man who was tempted in all points as us without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16). The Devil brought scenes before the mind of our Lord; he also brought our Lord to certain places and offered him shortcuts to glory without the cross. Does he come to us audibly?  I do not think this is the norm. Some Christians avoid  praying aloud because they fear that the Devil or his demonic minions, hears what is said but not what is thought.  This seems as ridiculous  as believing Christians can be demon possessed.  Scripture is clear about a couple of things related to Satan. We must know his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11;1-3, 1 Peter 5:8)  We must be prepared for the evil day when the Devil come in force (Ephesians 6:13). We must be strong in the Lord and the strength  of His might.

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