Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren, was so overwhelmed by the thousands of supportive responses to her Facebook post under the headline, "Don't Tell Grievers to 'Move On,'" that she took nearly two weeks before responding.
"Grief is a long, arduous, slow process and it deserves to be respected and supported, not minimized and condemned," Kay Warren said in part of her Facebook message posted Thursday.
The Saddleback Church founders are approaching the one year anniversary of their son's death approached. Matthew Warren died at the age of 27 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 5, 2013. The young Warren had "lived his entire life with mental illness," Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, said last year. more >>
Nearly 50 percent of Christians believe that prayer alone is powerful enough to treat mental illness, according to a recent study. But while psychologists of faith might agree that prayer certainly helps, one expert insists that spiritual disciplines are only one part of a holistic approach to treating mental illness.
The results of that noted survey, published in September by LifeWay Research, revealed that 48 percent of "self-identified born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christians" believe that Bible study and prayer alone can help overcome mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Furthermore, only 21 percent of survey respondents who attend worship services at least once a week said they believed they would be welcomed at most churches if they had a mental health issue.
How can Christians concerned that they or a loved one might be suffering from mental illness discern when it is time to rise from their knees and find a psychologist or psychiatrist? more >>
Kevin Sorbo, the actor who stars in the newly released "God's Not Dead" film, says he is on Hollywood's blacklist for simply having a conservative view on politics and social issues, which has ultimately cost him acting jobs.
"I'm not a party guy. There are people on both sides of the political fence that I don't agree with. To me, I look to see who I honestly think is going to be the best person. So, that, in itself, is enough to get me blacklisted in Hollywood," Sorbo said, according to The Epoch Times. "They (Hollywood) scream for tolerance, they scream for freedom of speech but if you disagree at all with what they're saying then they can blacklist you. They have the power to do that."
Sorbo considers himself one of the very few actors in Hollywood brave enough to voice his political opinion, and admits to voting Democratic and Republican. He also says he receives a lot of backlash for being Christian. more >>
Central to a Christian worldview is the belief that humanity exists in a fallen world and that, as a result, everyone is born in sin and susceptible to conditions that affect them physically, mentally, emotionally and in other ways. Yet, Christians are at odds when it comes to mental illness, with some suggesting that such maladies are simply the result of personal sin, lack of faith or spiritual attacks.
While there have been recent efforts to help destigmatize mental illness, studies show that many American evangelical, fundamentalist, or born-again Christians view such health issues solely as a spiritual condition to be treated with Bible study and prayer. Prior studies also have shown that religious leaders are most often the ones sought out among those suffering from mental illness, who, in some cases, have their ailments dismissed.
Dr. Eric L. Johnson, author of Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal and professor of pastoral care at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains that "the whole body can be affected by human fallenness." more >>
Craig Gross, pastor of XXXChurch.com, took to his blog over the weekend to review the film "Noah" amid the tension stirred by Christians who say the movie, set to be released March 28, strays away from an accurate biblical portrayal.
Gross, whose 11-year-old son Nolan plays young Ham in the blockbuster, saw the film during the cast and crew screening and urged his readers to see the film before passing judgment.
"… This movie has done the best job in the history of Hollywood to date of taking a Bible story and putting it on the big screen ... don't listen to people on twitter or people behind a pulpit that haven't seen this movie," wrote Gross. more >>
Editor's Note: Leading into an important conference on mental health and the role of the Church hosted by Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, at Saddleback Church, The Christian Post is offering special focus on the topic such as the interview article below with one of the main speakers. CP plans to continue this coverage including reporting on The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church this Friday.
More churches should view mental illness as a ministry opportunity even though many Christians believe they are not qualified to help, says Amy Simpson, author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission. As it stands now inside the Church, mental illness gets a much different response than any other illness.
"When someone has a family member who is hospitalized, or even when there's a death in a family, the church doesn't ignore that crisis, they reach out by bringing them meals or making sure they have home maintenance," Simpson told CP. "It's very common for people to refer to mental illness as the 'no-casserole' illness because those kinds of things typically don't happen for families of mental illness. Typically, if someone is hospitalized for a mental disorder or breakdown, the church community ignores that issue because they're uncomfortable or they think they don't know how to respond." more >>