Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

I’m sure Bayless Conley, a pastor who has a weekly TV show, means well. (I’ve written about him once before at this blog).

However, in today’s show, Conley was essentially making it sound as though if one wants to conquer clinical depression, one can do it by force of will, by thinking happy, sunny thoughts, and by having enough faith.

I’m not sure how much of a WoFer – Word of Faith (Wealth and Health / Prosperity Gospel) preacher this Conley guy is, if at all, but I am aware that many other WoFers have warped ideas about faith, healing, and human suffering.

Never mind the Bible does not teach any of this, but these WoFers all essentially teach you that if and when any calamity befalls you, and if you do not recover from it quickly, you were to blame for it. You are to blame for not being healed.

Their “you are to blame for being sick or having a problem” theology is disgusting to me, and it’s cruel and not compassionate.

These Word of Faithers all teach if you just have enough faith, you will be healed.

However, that is not so, as the book of Job and other portions of the Bible indicate.

I don’t want to spend an entire post discussing the flaws of Word of Faith; at this blog, my blog, it’s just a given.

The thing that annoyed me about this Conley person’s sermon was the assumption that depression can be easily cured, just toss in some prayer and some positive thinking, and hey look, you’re cured-

Sorry but depression does not work that way.

God does not heal everyone with depression of the depression, no matter how much faith they have, no matter how positive they are, no matter how often they “stand on the promises” and all the other mantras these “Wealth and Healthers” bray.

Christians with depression are not, and cannot be, healed of depression, or whatever mental health illness they suffer from, by “realizing and getting the revelation of Christ Jesus’ finished work,” which is just another way of spiritualizing away mental health problems; it’s the same as telling a Christian with depression to “read your Bible more,” or “trust in the Lord” or some other religious cliche’.

People with depression are not to blame for having depression. Depression is not a character flaw, the result of personal sin, or a sign of spiritual or character weakness or a personality defect.

Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog

(Link): Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness

(Link): Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon

(Link): Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen

(Link): Choosing Sadness: The Irony of Depression – article from APS – by Wray Herbert

(Link): Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes

(Link): Addendum – Mental Health and Treatment and the Goals of Mental Health Professionals

4 thoughts on “Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith”

  1. i agree with you that depression can’t be cured by will power or repeated confession of positive words but only by realizing and getting the revelation of Christ Jesus’ finished work…Jesus finished the work on the Hill of Calvary, known as The Skull…because the battle of man or woman is in the mind which Jesus has won for us already God bless you

    1. Jesus’ death on the cross, His “work at the cross” did not ‘win’ any one any battle against depression or other mental health issues.

      If it did, Christians would not get depression to start with, and the ones who do have it would not have to seek out medications and therapists to be treated for it.

      People can only be helped by utilizing secular therapy, medications, or, in my case, reading books about how to be freed from codependency.

      You are advocating, it sounds like, “Word of Faith” theology, which is not supported in the Bible, and is complete horse shit.

      Most Christians with depression limp along for YEARS trying to get by on faith alone, Bible reading, church attendance, etc, and none of that heals them of depression.

      Then, Christians with depression are shamed by preachers and Christian lay persons who tell them it is supposedly wrong to use medications or see a psychologist. Shaming Christians away from using medications or seeing qualified doctors is cruel and prolongs the Christian’s mental health illness.

  2. why? do you have depression? you should interview first people, especially Christian or Believers in Jesus who have been set free from depression, before attacking a Pastor for teaching what he taught…investigate do not criticize before you gather your fact…if this blog is an attack on the man himself is a different story

    1. I used to have depression, and Conley’s views did not help me.

      I tried faith, Bible reading, etc, none of that stuff worked – and those were Conley’s suggestions, which are typical suggestions tossed out by many preachers, not just him – and they are wrong, too.

      Calling a preacher out on bogus advice and un-biblical teachings is not “attacking” him.
      You really should read other posts on my blog, and the blog’s “About Me” page before leaving comments criticizing me or my views.

      I at least watch this Conley guy’s show every week, so I know what I’m talking about.

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