P.T.S.D. is Not Biblical Says K. Copeland and D. Barton
I don’t intend to make this blog “cutting edge.” This story I am linking to here (farther below) came out two, three, or more days ago. You’ve probably heard about it already on other blogs or in the news.
I sometimes wait a few days (or a week or more) before I mention something on this blog that piques my interest or ire.
Other than the singles issue (that is, Christians in Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Neo-Calvinist/Reformed, and Baptist churches tend to treat the un-married and childless like losers, if they bother to acknowledge singles at all), a few other topics get me worked up, and another one is how a lot of Christians treat mental health problems.
This isn’t a topic I want to blog about too much here on a regular basis, but every so often, I will address it.
From my childhood until a few years ago, I had clinical depression as well as a few other mental health problems. I was professionally diagnosed by psychiatrists.
Those problems have mostly cleared up now. But years of reading the Bible, praying, and “standing on the promises of Scripture,” did nothing to ease the depression or lift it (or the other problems I had).
Serving other people, working in soup kitchens, and all the usual advice one gets from Christians that was supposed to lift the depression did not help me, either.
For years, I would see preachers on TV or in blogs blame Christians who have depression for the depression (or for any other mental health problems they may have).
Some preachers and Christian lay persons would say if you have depression, it is because God is punishing you, you are not praying hard enough, you lack faith, you have unconfessed sin in your life, and a million other reasons.
Some of the Christians I saw on television or on blogs and forums, from everyday folks to famous preachers, would tell you that using medication or seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist is sinful or shows a lack of faith, so they would discourage any of that.
Some Christian online ministries even go so far as to deny that Christians can develop mental health issues to start with.
Two administrators at one Christian site I contacted several years ago said if I had depression, I obviously was not “really” a Christian, because “real Christians do not have depression.”
Many Christians are extremely ignorant and prejudiced concerning depression and other mental health maladies, and against those who suffer from the mental health problems.
Here is another example.
Christian historian David Barton (who is controversial; he is not considered a fully competent historian by many other historians, both Christians and NonChristians), and Kenneth Copeland, who is a Word of Faith heretic, recently made some very controversial comments about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Essentially, both men said in a recent broadcast on Copeland’s television show that Christian military personnel who have PTSD should not rely on medicine or medical care for treatment, but only rely on the promises in the Bible.
By the way, a lot of people who are not military personnel also have P.T.S.D., such as adult survivors of childhood abuse, and women who have been raped.
You can read more about Copeland’s and Barton’s nonsense here
(A word about the links below: bear in mind some of the sources I cite here are either left wing or hostile to Christians; I am quasi- Christian quasi- agnostic, critical of some aspects of Christianity, though I don’t hate all of the faith or all Christians, and I am right wing, not left wing):
(Link): David Barton and Kenneth Copeland: PTSD isn’t biblical, The State
(Link): David Barton & Kenneth Copeland: PTSD isn’t biblical, Houston Chronicle
- November 14, 2013
(RNS) On a Veterans Day broadcast program, televangelist Kenneth Copeland and controversial historian David Barton told listeners that soldiers should never experience guilt or post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from military service.
Reading from Numbers 32: 20-22, Copeland said, “So this is a promise — if you do this thing, if you arm yourselves before the Lord for the war … you shall return, you’re coming back, and be guiltless before the Lord and before the nation.”
“Any of you suffering from PTSD right now, you listen to me,” Copeland said as Barton affirmed him. “You get rid of that right now. You don’t take drugs to get rid of it. It doesn’t take psychology. That promise right there will get rid of it.”
Barton added that many biblical warriors “took so many people out in battle,” but did so in the name of God.
“You’re on an elevated platform up here. You’re a hero, you’re put in the faith hall of fame,” Barton said. “… When you do it God’s way, not only are you guiltless for having done that, you’re esteemed.”
… “It is obvious that they do not have knowledge of the condition,” said Warren Throckmorton, a Grove City College psychology professor who has written on Barton. “Copeland and Barton err theologically as well by taking specific Scriptures written in relationship to Israel and apply them to American armies.”
This isn’t the first time Copeland and Barton have been “profoundly ignorant about theology and history,” said Joe Carter, an editor and communications director for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
“But for them to denigrate the suffering of men and women traumatized by war — and to claim biblical support for their callow and doltish views — is both shocking and unconscionable,” Carter said. “Rather than downplaying the pain of PTSD, they should be asking God to heal our brothers and sisters.”
Barton has been a controversial figure in some circles. Texas tea partiers recently launched a movement to draft him to mount a primary challenge to Texas Sen. John Cornyn next year. Barton recently linked legal abortion to climate change.
In a recent program, Barton said half of students in Christian colleges leave church due to pagan professors. Last year, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, citing a loss of confidence in the book’s details, ended the publication and distribution of Barton’s best-seller, “The Jefferson Lies.”
A church led by Copeland’s daughter was recently linked to a measles outbreak. Terri Copeland Pearsons and her father have preached against vaccines.
(Link): Soldiers Shouldn’t Have Guilt, Claims Debunked Christian Historian David Barton (Video)
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