3 Christian Responses to Mental Illness & Which One is Biblical

This blog post has been revised and turned into a chapter in The Rethinking Series.

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An Invitation to Connect with Me
Finding Your Way Back to God: Five Awakenings to Your New Life
This Hinders Faith
Honoring Those With Whom You Disagree
About Frank Viola

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  • Frank Viola

    I’d ask them: 1. show me in Scripture where it’s wrong to take medicine. A clear text. 2. Ask them if they or their spouse take ANY medication for ANY reason, over the counter or prescription. That should settle the issue. You need to do what YOU feel is right before God. The idea that medicine is wrong is only held by a small handful of people today. The Christian Scientists included.

  • Grant

    Thank you for addressing such an issue. This has been one that I’ve suffered over personally, myself being a user and the victim. The individuals I’ve been around have always said that you should not take medicines treating ADD/ADHD. Their arguments being, ‘You should be the person God made you, without controlling it in such a way.’ How would you respond, Frank?

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  • Geoff

    Great that you are talking about this openly and honestly. As a Pastor I find it sad when members of my church are afraid to talk openly about their struggles because they fear the rejection associated with “mental illness”. Completely agree with you, body and soul are inter-connected, and wholeness and health are complexities we should not try to push into simple formulas.

  • Jeremy Hetzel

    Thanks. I’ll have to dig into the context to understand the difference. Thanks again.

  • Frank Viola

    Jeremy: I’m not using the word “judge” in the sense of 1 Corinthians 5. That’s a different matter and the context bears this out. I’m speaking of the kind of judging that James and Paul were addressing in the texts I quoted. Which fit the scenarios I gave. As well as Jesus in Matthew 7.

  • Jeremy Hetzel


    Thanks for your heartfelt and loving response on this. I agree. The one point I’d like to push back on is where you said, “If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have no right to judge a fellow Christian.” I agree with those verses, but also feel a need to balance those verses with 1 Corinthians 5:11-12:

    11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

    Judging others is often an issue of pride. We elevate ourselves and look down on the other sinners around us. However, are we not also to hold our brothers and sisters accountable? Doing so out of love, not pride?

    I think the things that have been said to the Warren family are horrible and come from pride, misunderstanding, and fear. I am praying for them.

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  • Joyce Whitt

    Brother Frank, I would hug your neck right now if I could! Thank you for bringing beauty out of ashes, by addressing this issue . Having lost a younger sister (mother of 6 children) to suicide in the early 80′s, when the “experts” still said that schizophrenia was the mothers fault…and so on, as well as hearing a lot of 1 and 2, above, I knew in my gut 3 was God’s truth. I love the overlapping circles. Soldier on!