A Voice in the

site navigation

free newsletter

" Mental Illness? "
    "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and of love and of a SOUND MIND... teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live with SOUND MIND, righteously, and godly in the present age... But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be of SOUND MIND and CALM in your prayers." (2Ti1:7, Tit2:12, 1Pe4:7)
In the wake of last week's massacre at Virginia Tech, a subscriber reviewed some painful personal family memories, and asked...
    "If you have a moment, can you address the issue of 'mental illness' from a truly Christian perspective?? Are there Scriptures to support/sustain us as we deal with these types of individuals? Or are there no 'easy' answers from the Scriptures?"
One of the things said about Cho Seung Hui was that he had experienced psychiatric observation, treatment and counseling; and the lamentation was wailed as to "why?" he had been released and the matter not added to the governmental database to raise a red flag to prevent him from purchasing his weapons. And as his pictures have been nearly rivalling the 9/11 WTC towers in their media innundation of our senses, one sees the facial expression of people that we, perhaps, can look back in our memories and think of certain individuals in our past experiences.

Hui's picture for me -immediately- (even before they started showing the ones of him brandishing a gun in each hand) resurrected a mental image of a certain person I had known at Christian Academy in Japan (school for missionary kids) when I was a kid in 3rd & 4th grades, one of the upperclassmen, of whom I remember having feelings of sheer 'terror', because he was such an -EVIL- person through-and-through. In my experience I had not only the picture, but saw his deeds and generic regular attitudes towards others. He was a person I always made sure to STEER CLEAR of! There certainly were the usual 'bullies'; but this person was in a class by himself, of deep innate evil.

This topic of "mental illness" is also a kissin' cousin to the matter of suicide, which we have addressed in the past. [link] and related Q/As [link] - [link] as well as the matter of Chemical Imbalance [link]

Let us address one thing about chemicals and counseling first, and then get to what I believe is at the -heart- of the matter.

As stated on those other occasions (the above links) I am no expert in matters of psychology and psychiatry. But based on personal experience, I think that to combine drugs and counseling is a 'joke'. Sorry to mention 'personal' matters again, but such is the nature of 'experience', and giving certain credibility to what is presented. After all, the 'experts' with their degrees come by their degrees, partly, by making 'observations' of things of which my own experiences consist. And I'm not so proud but what a little dirty laundry can hang out, if others can benefit from it.

When I was a youth I attempted suicide. If you read the above links, there is mention there of childhood abuse. As those two children in Wyoming did years ago ("A time to kill"), I contemplated how easy it would be to ambush the 'source' of the abuse, and had it all figured out how to do it. But I WAS A CHRISTIAN. (more on this later) As a Christian, killing my dad was not an option. Yes, there were 'guns' in the house, and I was well-versed in their use; but none of them jumped up to shoot my dad, on their own; and because I was a Christian I didn't avail myself of that option, either. (Guns are not the problem!) But how does one escape the abuse? When the abuse has both the physical and emotion components, a person's mind gets messed up; even if one knows the Lord. Many abusers are expert in mind games.

So...after they pumped out my stomach, I was in a "psych-ward" for a week. They had me drugged up on something that, when I woke up, I was hallucinating. For instance: I was seeing the wooden footboard of the bed as a 'bow' from an archery set; and other such things that I no longer remember. And it was in this same drugged state that I would go in to see the counselor. If I was seeing a part of the bed as being an archery 'bow', how connected was I to 'reality'? I wasn't. And I don't remember those counseling sessions...that's how much 'good' they did!

And yet, this is the FOUNDATIONAL PREMISE for treating everything today that is considered to be a psychological or mental disorder or illness.

If anything, drugs -mask- the problem, making it impossible for the sick person to become well. How does one become well, unless the 'problem' is squarely faced and dealt with? But if one is drugged up, how is a person able to face reality?

In addition to which, mind-altering drugs are a door-way for the entrance of demons. I was protected, because I was God's Child (since age 5). When a person is not in control of their own mind, it is like Jesus spoke of the 'empty house' cleaned and swept. The demons come along and find the "Vacancy" sign lit up, they take up residence. (Mt12:43-45)

Again, quite fascinating how different things on any given topic coalesce at the same time. Just this past week David Cloud's FBIS service sent out a mailing on "Rock Musicians as Mediums" [link] A lot of things I 'know' in my spirit, Cloud has -documented-. This file contains many 'testimonials' of rock musicians, expressing in specific terms how their music is 'demon-possessed'. That when they perform, the demons come and take over, and they often are not fully aware of even their own performance. And for most of them -drugs- is a part of their way-of-life. What charismania does when they "empty" their minds through "worship" and become "spirit-filled"; the rock world does the quick-easy way with drugs. Same goals, same results, same outcome...


There is a most notable example in Scripture of a person who became psychotic. According to the dictionary:

    Psychosis == "A severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning"
When we think of mental things, we tend to think of the 'brain'. But we've observed on other occasions that the brain functions when blood flows through it. When different parts of the brain are functioning for various chores, reactions or feelings, instruments can measure the brain activity by the flow of blood. [link] And from Scripture we know that the "soul is in the blood" (Le17:11) We have concluded that the brain is like the 'computer', and the blood/soul is the 'operator' When drugs are introduced, they travel in the blood. Thus, when a person takes mind-altering drugs, they are messing around with their soul. It's like clicking the Trojan link and ending up with a virus in the computer that messes up the hard drive's File Allocation Table, and other things.

It says, "But the Spirit of Jehovah had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah had fallen upon him." (1Sa16:14) And the result of that, in behavior, was Saul throwing spears at both David and his own son Jonathan; and he had an obscession regarding trying to 'get' David, expending Israel's military resources in trying. When he was in his sorely moods, David was also called in to play music for him.

Now, before we go any further here, let's keep one thing clear: "Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone." (Ja1:13)

So what does that verse mean: "from Jehovah"? We are told that "the great dragon was cast...out onto the earth, and his angels...with him" (Re12:9) But that is yet future. (as of the date of this writing) When Job experienced his troubles it was satan's work. (Job ch1-2) When Ahab was enticed to go to battle to get killed, it was a "lying spirit" in the mouths of his prophets; the spirit had come from God's presence. (2Ch18) If satan has been the "accuser of our brethren" who does so "before our God" (Re12:10); does not the context of such a comment indicate that satan presently still has access to God's throne.

So, when Saul went apostate, it was not God's 'fault'. The evil spirit "from Jehovah" was one of those spirits that yet has access to God's presence...but is an "evil spirit".

But what does Jacob tell us is the source of our own evils? "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away BY HIS OWN LUSTS and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Do not be led astray, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no change or shadow of turning." (Ja1:14-17)

Why did Saul go "crazy"? It says that God's Holy Spirit left him, and that an evil spirit came as a replacement. Saul decided to not follow God and be faithfully obedient to Him. When Saul disobeyed, Samuel says to him, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of Jehovah, He also has rejected you from being king." (1Sa15:23)

Saul's evil crazed mind was not something that he "COULDN'T HELP IT". In God's knowledge of his heart, apparently he had made 'choices' within his own spirit. Jesus said that we cannot serve "two masters". (Mt6:24) Since Saul had rejected God, the only other master was satan and his demons.

Today they speak of "multiple personality disorders". I have seen this, most notably in e-mails complaining against VW teaching about charismania. People claiming to -be- "charismatic", and also "christian". Some that used to subscribe, until they became angry; and some 'strangers' reading things at the website. As there would be multiple e-mails, from the same -person-, the e-mails were obviously from different -persona-. Arguing against Scriptural teaching about demons and demon-possession. The different persona... although from the same person... a different demon.

If a person has multiple demons residing, of what use is drug therapy? If anything, the drugs -compound- the problem by relieving any sense of "self-control" as the "Vacancy" sign is turned on. In such a case, the only benefit of drugs might be if the person is exhibiting violent physical behavior, endangering himself and/or those around him; then, perhaps drugs can 'disable' the physical body from being able to respond to the spiritual/soul control of the brain. Remember? The brain makes the body move, physically; but it is the soul/blood that operates the brain. And what operates the soul? The spirit? Whose spirit? God's? or satan's?

In my case, even though the external emotional forces upon me, not of my own making or control, made me lose hope, I still (spiritually) had "self-control" to know right from wrong, and so did not commit murder; but instead inflicted damage upon myself. I was a Christian.

Knowing what I went through -while- being a [C]hristian, and what it was like; I utterly cannot fathom how a non-believer could possibly cope. As 'desperate' as things were for me, at least I knew the Lord; I cannot begin to imagine how awful things must be in the mind of one who does not know the Lord. As a Believer, Paul spoke of despairing "even of life" (2Co1:8) If a person doesn't know the Lord, what sort of 'darkness' is within them? Jesus expressed, "..how great is that darkness!" (Mt6:23) If they are under satan's control, what are their limits before they 'explode'? We saw one such example last week; that's what the Virginia Tech massacre was about

And being in satan's realm...is that not the very definition of "sin"? Eve chose to obey satan, and the result was sin upon the human race. Anybody who does not know the Lord is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph2:1) If a person is under satan's rule, they -do- the "works of darkness" (Eph5:11) Sin

That is the transformation that happens when a person receives Christ as Savior: we "cast off the works of darkness and...put on the armor of light" (Rom13:12) And with that armor, one of the characteristics of the Believer is "self-control". Self-control is one of the 'fruits' of God's Holy Spirit. (Ga5:23)

What the world saw last week, was "savage" and "without self-control" (2Ti3:3) Part of what Paul spoke of for the "last days" and its "perilous times" (vs1)

This, also, is why the True Believer -prays- "with the mind" and -sings- (worships) "with the mind" (1Co14:15) We do not 'empty' the mind to allow any ol' passing evil spirit to take up residence.

Most of what exists today is not mental "illness"; it is "sin". When they speak of "attention deficit" issues, it is not so much a 'disease' as it is a lack of "self-control"; the person never grew up to learn self-discipline. Same with "hyperactivity". What the world calls a "disorder" is most usually "sin". They call it a "disorder", dope the person up with drugs, and actually exacerbate the problem; and never really cure it, because they refuse to acknowledge "sin" for what it is.

That's because: in order to call it "sin", a person then, of necessity, must also acknowledge God Most High. But mankind is rejecting God. Therefore he also rejects the notion of "sin", and sin's ultimate reward...DEATH. That: "the wages of sin is death" and in rejecting God also reject the fact that the "gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom6:23) They want everlasting life, but refuse the God who gives it.

Thus, all the symptoms of sin they label otherwise according to their own 'wisdom'. But "...they have rejected the Word of Jehovah; so what wisdom is in them?" (Jer8:9)

What about when a so-called "christian" loses their mind and/or goes crazy? Either...

  • they are not really a [C]hristian, or
  • there is sin.
Again, personal reference: When I allowed myself to be persuaded to become "tolerant" of apostate thinking and doctrine during my collegiate years [link], and concurrently also started using a non-Antioch translation of the Bible, over the years, in such a compromised state, I married an unequal yoke, and as things continued to slide, I did other things I would never have drempt of doing before the entrance into 'tolerance'; nor would I now, now that my life has been cleansed.

I'm about to make a bold statement for which I don't have 'scientific' proof; but I believe this is not a scientific matter, but a spiritual one. Based on what has been said in this short commentary let it be suggested that...

Barring some physical/genetic defect (what the dictionary calls "organic damage"), or perhaps the rigors of interrogative torture; any form of what is typically called mental "illness" is actually caused in "sin": either the person is a non-believer, or if it involves a Believer, they have sin in their life. Except for physical/genetic defects, there is NO SUCH THING as MENTAL ILLNESS.

  • The cure for the unbeliever is to come to God in repentance, and receive Jesus' Salvation through faith. (Ac20:21) And the "prayer of faith will save the sick" (Ja5:15)

  • The Believer must "confess" the sin and receive God's forgiveness. (1Jn1:9)

    "...He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED." (Is53:5)

God does not impart "mental illness" to a Believer; but by definition, if a person is truly a Believer, what God gives is a "sound mind" (2Tim1:7) As the one whom Jesus delivered, people found him, "...who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his RIGHT MIND." (Mk5:15) If a person, being in control of their own circumstances and lacking genetic (and related) defects, is not of sound mind, they are not a Believer... by definition; and depending on the situation, they might also be demon-possessed. And if they are a Believer, there is unrepented sin in the life.

The world makes this into a complex matter, introducing a new name for every newly imagined "syndrome", requiring the 'expertise' of somebody with multiple letters behind their names to understand all the subtle intricacies of their self-deluded concoctions. But it is actually quite simple. It is either submission to God, or following satan. Right or wrong; good or evil; holiness or sin; black or white. There are no "gray areas" requiring higher education to explain it away. And God lays out His will as a series of qualifications for life or death, through either obedience or disobedience. And He invites...

    "I call Heaven and earth to bear witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore CHOOSE LIFE (and the One who gives it), that both you and your seed may live" (De30:19)

Related link: "take antidepressants, become a demon possessed killer"

Return to: Commentaries