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 >>
A religious freedom law firm is demanding an apology from a California school district on behalf of two students who were reportedly told by teachers that they couldn't pass out "coins" with inscribed biblical messages while at school.
Freedom X, a nonprofit law firm that seeks to protect the religious rights of Christians and conservatives, sent a letter to the Apple Valley Unified School District earlier in March demanding that the district apologize to its clients, the Peterson family, for reprimanding students Steven and Patrick after the two boys passed out the coins at school.
Steven, a third grader, and Patrick, a fourth grader, are two of five children of Allen and Kelly Peterson, who retained the Freedom X law firm after learning their sons had been reprimanded by teachers at Desert Knolls Elementary School. One side of the fake coin reads the Bible verse John 3:16, while the other side reads: "Where will you spend eternity?" more >>
A feminist professor at a state university in California has been charged with physical confrontation with a pro-life protester from a Christian ministry on campus and with stealing and destroying a banner during an awareness event earlier this month.
University of California at Santa Barbara Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young, who specializes in black cultural studies and pornography, was on Friday charged with theft, battery and vandalism – all misdemeanors – and her arraignment is scheduled for April 4, according to Santa Barbara Independent.
The alleged victim is from a Riverside-based Christian ministry, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust. more >>
A woman recovering from a car accident was asked to put on a shirt by staff at the Planet Fitness Gym in Richmond, Calif., on Monday after staff informed her that her "toned body" was intimidating other club members.
Tiffany Austin, told KTVU that she was excited to get back in shape after being sidelined by a recent car accident. She said after her doctor told her she could get back to exercising again, she scouted the gym and started her first workout on Monday.
It only lasted 15 minutes. more >>