Things I Think: The Late Edition
1. Today we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. I used to get caught up in the mans moral and theological failures, but he has become a symbol of non-violent social action for justice and righteousness. I can and will celebrate that. In this case the symbol is more powerful and important than the aforementioned substance.
2. More thoughts on the Albuquerque tragedy… I have exceedingly credible information that the young man showed signs of mental disturbance at an early age and that those signs may have been overlooked or ignored because of religious taboos against psychiatry and psychology. Dear readers, if someone you love is having difficulty controlling their thoughts or fantasy lives reach out and get them help…please.
3. This is an exceedingly difficult and confusing time to be young…
4. We live in a time as well when everybody wants to have their say, but few want to listen…
5. Yes, I believe in supernatural evil. No, I do not believe that the existence and work of supernatural evil removes any element of human responsibility. To caricature what I’m saying with references to “The Exorcist” or cartoon demons misses the point entirely. I have seen and battled spiritual oppression live and in person and it’s not a fantasy, but a dark and dreadful reality. If you think that’s weird …I also believe a 1st century carpenter was God and that even though He was murdered, He rose from the dead and because He did I will too. Strange faith, isn’t it?
My heart is too heavy for five more…I do want to say a quick thank you to my friends in Albuquerque for all the years of faithful friendship. May God be with you in these coming days and always.
We also has this little thing called a presidential inauguration today.
Enjoyed the parade with all the costumes, music and every kind of person.
What a great country!
Michael said, ” Dear readers, if someone you love is having difficulty controlling their thoughts or fantasy lives reach out and get them help…please.”
Someone, please do an intervention with MLD 😆
” I have exceedingly credible information that the young man showed signs of mental disturbance at an early age and that those signs may have been overlooked or ignored because of religious taboos against psychiatry and psychology.”
I understand these taboos having been there and done that. It’s tragic that some still throw the baby out with the bath water and I’m not speaking of this specific story. I’ve read the stuff today on the demonic and we tend to do the same thing and souls needlessly suffer.
The church must step up and stand in the gap for those who suffer mentally. What we’ve managed to do through the years is to drive sufferers deeper into the shadows with talk of sin and personal failures instead of understanding and passion based on truth.
This isn’t a church thing either as all across society there is still stigma and misunderstanding regarding those with mental illness. Our military is a sad example of this.
Not everyone needs medication or professional counseling although many do. Many simply need to feel safe to come forward without fear of having their deepest pain(s) tossed back in their face which can cause one to lose hope and to falsely believe God has had it with them.
Since I’ve been here I have been heartened by the fact there are pastors and churches that are reaching out in love to those who desire it so desperately.
I can’t begin to fathom the pain the remaining family and friends must be going through at this time.
He’s been conspicuously absent.
I would seriously like to second the call to move quickly with psychiatric help, if someone close appears to be in need.
Thank you again for your work and testimony…
Thank you Michael. Hope you’re feeling better soon.
if i may ask …
erunner, we, who frequent Michael’s blog site are very familiar with the fact of abusive pastors and have discussed how to heal, how to out them and how to disassociate ourselves from toxic churches – in light of this – i think that there are some (too many) dangerous guys in psychiatry/psychology also – has your web site ever addressed how one can assess whether or not their at risk child is receiving good competent care?
Em, I’ve run various articles about the dangers of abusing medication and of things to beware of. What I’ve learned in my years of doing the blog are there are people who come at the topic from so many vantage points.
Many people want to post on the blog pretty much as a way to advertise their unique cures for those suffering emotionally. I delete them as I see them. Two topics I covered were 1) Bob Larson who seems to think everyone has a demon. Another topic was a ministry out of Hillsong ministries mostly known for their music. They had a ministry for young girls struggling with anorexia which pretty much was a scam to tell these poor girls they were possessed. Those are high profile stories.
I have had guests write on various topics ranging from suicide, depression, PTSD, etc. Michael has even written for me.
I personally think many pastors who hurt the mentally ill or however you choose to describe that person does so out of ignorance. Someone they respect taught them that all you need is the Bible and the desire to please God to get better. Sadly, most who have mustered up the courage to come forward have repented of every known and unknown sin imaginable and are desperate for help. When told directly or by inference they are the problem that can do untold damage. If a pastor teaches this stuff from the pulpit imagine what it can do to a vulnerable soul.
Then there are pastors I imagine are too prideful to think they don’t have all of the answers and they can be dangerous as well.
Pastor’s who recognize they and their staff aren’t equipped to help everyone who walks through their doors is important. Connecting with local professionals is very crucial for those times.
I can tell you from experience how dangerous some psychiatrists can be. I pretty much dictated to them what I would and wouldn’t take. I even had my primary physician prescribe meds for me and I’d let him know how much I needed. I hurt myself a lot that way.
I have a page on my blog on how to find a good Christian counselor. I’ve been thinking of pulling it because I don’t know of a sure fire way to find a counselor that is best for you. I’ve sat with counselors on a weekly basis pretty much reviewing my week. There’s no real help there. Some would come against the idea that a Christian should or could even be a professional psychologist or psychiatrist as that means they had to compromise their faith and co-mingle it with Freud and so on. So they are marked as carnal or whatever word fits their views.
I am by no means an expert on any of these things. I try to put out information that will help and encourage those believers who suffer emotionally. I use music each week as I have found God uses it to soothe my spirit and I hope it will for others.
I’m sorry for the length but this is all very close to my heart and I tend to ramble a bit. There are people who either read or post here who have great knowledge on these things. Maybe they might chime in??
erunner, perspective is everything – i appreciate reading the above – may God keep His hand on your ministry and on you and yours – thank you for taking the time to answer my question, it was definitely not too long 🙂
of all the staggering wonders of our physiology, the 2 that give me pause are the chemistry that runs the whole thing and that heart that keeps pumping away beat after beat after beat (and heartache after heartache)
we have a nervous system that is so fragile and yet so tough and we are that close to great medical breakthroughs in its repair – yet, scientific progress without a fear of God is a scary prospect in any field, especially this one – like David (or was it Solomon?) “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” and …
The maligning of MLK was the work of one J. Edgar Hoover. Not that MLK acted like a saint. But there is a great deal to celebrate about his life and work. He was a fiery preacher.
Regarding #2 — this is a longstanding conviction of mine that stems from my Calvary Chapel days: if you say psychology and psychiatry are of the devil and offlimits, for someone caught in abuse in the the CC system, it’s similar to going out on a limb and then sawing it off. It’s tragic and a really, really, really bad brew.
My church is a full out charismatic haven. People come to my church to receive prophecy the laying on of hands, deliverance, healing and forms of emotional and mental healing. AND YET the pastor vociferously, vigorously and incessantly protests those who refuse medical, psychological and psychiatric care. Those under our care are rebuked if they stop medicine without resorting to medical protocols. They are encouraged to pay as close attention to brain chemistry remedies as they do to antibiotics as a remedy for infection. They are refuted if they reject inoculations and ANYONE who rejects counseling as a supplement to pastoral care is contended with strongly.
If your facts about that matter are correct then we have a basis for making some assessments that assign culpability. Maybe even pastoral.
The only prayer I’ve been able to muster the last few days was, “Lord, have mercy.” It is beyond my grasp to think of these tragedies with clarity.
This morning, though, the sunrise has been breathtaking, and has lasted an unexplicably long time. I do not think that that is for my benefit…I think it is simply a truth this morning.
There is beauty and there is wonder that exists alongside the evil and the darkness. The bird chirping on my fence with his brilliant colors and the backdrop of reds and purples and blues and fire-like reds of the sunrise. They are unnecessary, these colors and this wonder. The song of birds is unnecessarily beautiful.
The horrors of our world are only one shade…dark.
So I am praying this morning that the wonders around us, the beauty around us, is as fierce as the evil. Praying that our Creator God opens our eyes and our minds and our hearts in a way that can see well. Praying that the strength of beauty…because there is a brilliant strength there…undergirds us today.
As we walk in that strength I pray that we are aware of those around us who cannot see the beauty. Whether it is because of a mark of the fall that their minds are twisted today, or the activity of the evil one who prods and whispers and deceives….the reason is not completely necessary in this moment. In this moment I pray that we as the People of God are simply aware…that we are shaken into an awareness that is informed by deep compassion and grace and mercy.
An awareness that is founded on the hope and the truth and the deep awareness that the Creator of the sunrises is able to create wholeness where it is not. Praying for pastors like Alan to pray fervently and do battle and hold and weep over and be with those who are struggling, but with wisdom and with determination that sometimes the medications are the gift of healing as well.
Praying this morning for all touched by this tragedy that they would not put their fingers in their ears and close their eyes…but that they would be humbled and aware that there is help. That the shame of mental struggles would be removed and in its place would be grace and compassion and fervent desire for healing.
Praying so many things, but they still are founded on, “Lord, have mercy.”
1-5…..Excellent insights ! Number 5…such a balanced and true explanation.
That is a saver.
1. Amen to MLK and celebrating his legacy, rather than the man.
Last week I had the chance to pick up my daughter after school and walk her home. It was cold, so hot cocoa was in order. Over the cups, I asked her what she learned that day, and she related that they talked about MLK. Hearing her explain it, it seemed as though she was only getting the facts and the narrow view of history and prejudice. I felt it was my duty as a parent to explain to her the fact that people of all races can be prejudiced, not just one.
And that prejudice falls apart at the Cross.
“5. Yes, I believe in supernatural evil. No, I do not believe that the existence and work of supernatural evil removes any element of human responsibility. To caricature what I’m saying with references to “The Exorcist” or cartoon demons misses the point entirely. I have seen and battled spiritual oppression live and in person and it’s not a fantasy, but a dark and dreadful reality.”
These tragedies, while I cannot prove to anyone that they have a demonic angle to them, I find it hard to believe that there would not be one, at some level.
Again, to reiterate, even if someone is possessed, it would not excuse them from the responsibility.
Its my opinion that some of these tragedies, especially when the perpetrator…kills themselves, are a mark of someone being possessed/oppressed. Maybe I’m totally wrong.
Brutally honest section – skip if you can’t handle it. When my thoughts start getting dark, I almost becomes litmus test when my thoughts start being suicidal, that I know that those thoughts are not coming from me, and that perhaps they are from the pit of hell? When the options for suicide begin to make sense – thats not a thought from God, or I would think from my flesh. To me….thats the enemy of our souls, and certainly my soul. I don’t know, but I find that when my thoughts start going to that place, I know that I should not take any action on them, and just pray to God that He would help me deal with them.
I know that the enemy is real and that they would prefer us making too much of them, or not acknowledging their existence or influence at all.
I hear you…thank you.
Paps…..yes…I hear you too. I think if we were all honest…we have all heard those dark whispers from the enemy of our soul, at one time or another.
Thanks Michael and Nonnie.
It helps to know that you’re understood… and not the only one who’s heard those whispers.
I’m am thankful, though, that the whispers of love and hope are sweeter and stronger.
1.”Today we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. I used to get caught up in the mans moral and theological failures, but he has become a symbol of non-violent social action for justice and righteousness. I can and will celebrate that. In this case the symbol is more powerful and important than the aforementioned substance.”
We all have them so I never held it against the good Doctor
If you want to read a great book about King’s faith and how it pervaded his actions, I’d recommend “The Preacher King.” The author, Richard Lischer is a grad of Duke Divinity School. He argues persuasively that King was influenced by his fellow African-American preachers as much as by Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence.
From a review: “here is a preacher who never gave up trying to shape a congregation of people that would be capable of redeeming the moral and political character of the nation.”
Thankful for Sarah’s prayer that in the midst of the unfathomable we remember the light and the great hope we have in spite of the darkness…
amen to Sarah’s words: “So I am praying this morning that the wonders around us, the beauty around us, is as fierce as the evil.”
there is a song somewhere with the lines “heaven above is softer blue, earth around a sweeter green, something lives in every hue that Christless eyes have never seen” … am i the only one that experienced this when i accepted Christ? hmmm, could be just brain chemistry, i guess … 😀
Martin Luther King, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and many others are men that are raised up for a time and a place in the stream of history, i think
my Tuesday schedule of scripture reading was 2 Samuel 13 today – last week the prior chapter, 12 – there is much to ponder on in these chapters regarding the sins of men against women … and other sins … David was loved by God, yet not fit to build the Temple – men like Martin Luther King can be heroes (he is one), but should not be pastors IMV – on the other hand the man who is fighting homosexual desire, yet doing so successfully by not acting on his besetting desire can very well pastor – IMHO – the issue is not our inclination to break God’s laws, that’s a given, even among those of us who think we “stand”
i am rethinking, without devaluing, or glossing over God’s attitude with regard to categories of sins … they’re all bad and separate us from our God … hence, confession and keeping short accounts with our Lord is vital to our spiritual health – of this i’m sure, but there are still standards of conduct to be met for serving the Lord in areas of high responsibility
my train of thought was interrupted by another showing of my house, i hope this is coherent and says what i mean 😐
I do believe in evil spirits Demons I believe they are very active today. I believe they spend more time at your local church than most congregants. There is a war on, we have all been drafted, and demons know that a church that is filled with people who love each other and forgive each other is one of their biggest threats. Our Enemies are very busy on Sunday before church even starts. The fights families have, I bet if you are honest about it just getting to church on Sunday is all out war.
Mt mother was a mean drunk and into the occult. I believe Demons are opportunist like lions they study the church looking for the weak link and their attacks are done in military manners. They attack that brother who is angry or the sister who was just offended and does all he can to miss every blessing God wants to give them by keeping them dwelling on the things that bug them
Have you ever noticed how hard it I’d to focus when you are in church?
Well anyhow killings as tragic as they are are OMLY the tip of the iceberg of what our common enemy is up to every day..
My mom was delivered from possession and became a Christian Right before she died.
I know some of you think I’m nuts, but I had a front row seat when my sister and my wife and I prayed and cast out the demon.. And none of us were into that kind of thinking at all my sister was a Baptist.. But I saw a woman who had been my tormentor day and night when I was growing up get turned into my mother when that evil force had to let her go. We just prayed in the name of Jesus for my mom to be delivered when my mom in an inhuman voice said ” YOU CAN’T PRAY FOR ME” and my sister said we are boy praying for you we are praying for Marie Duncan and my mom collapsed and I met my mom.. And ice delivered she was a wonderful mom for the year it took her to read the Bible and when she read the last page She went home to be with The Lord
Think what you will of my sanity, but I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears and felt with my heart what happened that night.
I concur with DMW… one thousand percent.
DMW, I have absolutely no problem believing what you shared. God bless you brother.
I’m with Nomans and Erunner. I have seen darkness that is beyond human….it is real. I have also seen much goodness and power, beyond anything human….very real.
I hear you, paps….