Guest blogger and biblical counselor Julie Ganschow questions pastors who send the hurting to mental health clinics in this provocative post, reprinted here with her permission. She reminds us that God says his Word gives everything we need for life and godliness. At her blog, she names it: The Gospel of In-sufficiency. This other gospel hurts you!
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!Galatians 1:6-8
What Is This Other Gospel?
There are far too many women and men reaching out to their pastor or church counselor with an issue of depression being sent down the road to the “Christian clinic” to meet with an integrationist who will mix psychology and the Bible. Not only depression, but anxiety, fear, worry, money problems, marital problems, child related issues, and virtually every problem common to man!The integrationist, who I am sure is very well meaning, does not hold the Word of God in the esteemed position it is worthy of. They do not believe that the Bible has the answers people need. Instead, they seek to medicate their emotions with drugs and/or talk therapy allowing them to rehash their hurts and pain and feelings to no good end.
How the Other Gospel Harms
How do I know this is true? What right do I have to say these things? Only the experience of the counselees who come to us having tried all the ways of the world. They arrive hopeless and miserable truly believing all hope is gone for them or their marriage. During the process of gathering data these women trot out their diagnosis list: Bi-polar, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and so on. They are usually taking some psychotropic medication(s) in varying amounts that are really not helping. Often, the women and men have been in therapy for months and no positive changes have taken place in their lives. They have become numb due to the drugs but it hasn’t really fixed the problems.
Ministry to home and family is in ruins in most of these cases. Mommy is not available because she is “having a bad day” or “not up to it.” Her husband comes home to find his wife listless and wilted on the couch, the house a mess, and there’s no dinner because she felt too bad to do much of anything. Church service, or service of any kind to others is virtually non-existent. There is no one-anothering going on in her life because her life is wrapped around herself and how she feels that day.
God Has the Compassionate Solution
Do I sound harsh? Unloving? Cruel? My “voice” is full of nothing but empathy and compassion for these dear ladies who have been so led astray by those who would call sin sickness. This is the result of calling sin “sickness” in the church.
If this post finds you in this kind of a place today, please understand that my desire is to open your eyes and reveal the truth from the Word of God to your heart. It is crucial that you understand that there is NO problem you face that God does not have an answer for. It is possible that there are sin issues in your heart and life that have led you to this place. A good, godly counselor can help you unearth them in a relatively short amount of time.
The true gospel is that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I assume you are a sinner, as I am.
If sin is what has led you to this pit in your life right now that is the best possible news you could ever ask for! Jesus died for that sin, He conquered it, nailed it to the cross and spiritually you have already died to it!
When you think of your anxiety or anger you must realize that those actions are only results of the true issues of the heart that lead you to sin in those ways. Pride may blind you to this truth, but diligent study of the Word will reveal the sin residing in your heart. You must return to the true gospel of Jesus Christ that reveals to us our ongoing need for Him and His cleansing and forgiveness.
DOWNLOADS: If Julie’s words touched you, why not download one of these hope-filled resources?
COUNSELING: We’d love to come alongside you in your hurts, point you to the One who has the real solutions, and help you make practical, positive change leading to peace and contentment. Please contact us to make a counseling appointment at one of our four locations or by Skype. Click here for hope.