Thursday, February 20, 2014

Clarification of Mental/Spiritual Classification

I’ve said this before, but it seems worthwhile to restate it and provide additional clarification regarding my previous post about demonic possession.

I do believe that mental illness exists.  I don't want to over-spiritualize everything and say that every human flaw is due to “evil forces”.  I believe in scientific discoveries that lead to progress with medical diagnosis and solutions.  I fully accept that there are people that suffer from chemical deficiencies in the brain and/or other mental anomalies.  Some examples of circumstances that I am comfortable categorizing as mental illness could be slightly irrational thinking, emotional instability, lack of mental clarity/focus, difficulty functioning in everyday life or carrying out certain tasks, etc.  Other examples of legitimate mental issues are those that arise because of some traumatic experience, such as post traumatic stress disorder (soldiers after war).

However, there are also many stories and cases that I’ve either read about in the news or heard from first-hand accounts that it does not make sense to assign to the category of mental illness.  Examples of these are where people deliberately cause sexual or psychological harm to innocent victims (children or other people who have done nothing wrong to deserve it), those that contain elements of physically impossible feats (child walking up a wall, man walking around in fire without getting burned, etc.), people who clearly “hear voices” that tell them to do evil things, or people who act in a manner that is consistent with displaying what would be expected in the case of demonic possession (shrieking or recoiling upon hearing the name of Jesus, speaking in a different voice or multiple voices and with a completely different personality, etc.).  Yes, those are actual news stories, and there are plenty more examples near the bottom of my web site here.

I believe it’s important to bring attention to the effects/actions of evil – because my hope is to shine a spotlight on what I believe is a real, plausible enemy who wishes pain, frustration, and ultimately destruction upon each human being.  Because only upon realizing that you have an enemy can you see his/her/its deeds for what they are and try to defend against them.  Also, my hope is that the realization of this unseen enemy helps to promote our need for someone who can assist us, who is not only our spiritual advocate but also the ultimate conqueror/ruler of this unseen realm.  That person is Jesus.

In addition to recognizing the existence of evil, my desire is for everyone to look at each negative news story individually and determine whether they can be categorized as a simple human flaw (mental anomaly of some sort), or if it’s at least remotely possible, and in some cases highly probably, that the root cause could be something supernatural.


CatholicMom said...

This is such an interesting topic to me. Next time you are in a book store, you should skim over Scott Peck's (Yeah, that's the famous author of the Road Less Traveled that you may have had to read in high school...) "Glimpses of the Devil" (A psychiatrists personal accounts of possession, exorcism, and redemption)... fascinating (scary) stuff.

On a more pleasant note, thanks to you and to everyone for past prayers for me, because we finally sold our house (brutal experience, like yours, but it is done, thank God), AND my sister and her live in boyfriend have gotten engaged, started going to church and are living chastely now until they will be married in June. Two prayers ANSWERED!!! AMEN!!! :-)

michael said...

Sounds like a very interesting book Sharon! That might be just what I need to complete my discussion points regarding this topic.

I did read "The Road Less Traveled" (on my own, not in high school) and remember liking it a lot. Unfortunately, I found his follow up book "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" was a steaming pile of poo, especially the part where he justified his adultery as an attempt to seek God (or something like that).

The one you're describing sounds great though, especially if you've already read it and recommend it.

CatholicMom said...

LOL, oh my gosh.. I do not recall that sordid detail.. hahaha.... I should be careful about what I recommend. I just remember skimming it in the bookstore and couldn't put down his psychiatrists account of the supernatural that was occurring in his "mental" patient... it was a very long time ago... but I definitely believe Satan has more impact on us and everyone's mental state than any secularist would have us believe. There is just too much insanity and evil in the news.

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