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Posts Tagged ‘sin’

Report: 41% of Americans are “mentally ill”

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As we close out 2010, I wanted to relay a statistic I heard recently that said that 41% of AMERICANS were mentally ill. In America, we are creeping up on almost HALF of all Americans have some type of so-called “mental illness.” In other words, 41% of Americans possess a DSM-IV DIAGNOSIS based upon observable (or self-reported) behaviors/thoughts and many of those are “treating their symptoms” with a medication that is NOT guaranteed to work and may have many serious side effects.

My thoughts:
1) I think America is one of the few countries with the LEISURE TIME and WEALTH to be “mentally ill.” Most third world countries and their citizens do not have the time to focus on themselves which OFTEN causes mental illness. The people in these countries have to focus on working for their families just to survive the harsh conditions of life. In America, we have time and wealth to be mentally ill b/c it lends itself to self-absorption.

2) This 41% is a number that is only going to INCREASE in our country.

3) How much does sin and focusing upon one’s self-centered desires contribute to mental illness versus how much of mental illness is physically based (like a chemical imbalance)? I would say that when we get to heaven, if the Lord reveals the truthful answer to this question, we will all be surprised at how mental illness is really caused by living in unrepentant sin by being so extremely self-focused that one’s physical body begins to manifest these symptoms. There is a physical relationship between one’s sin and the body. Look at how Nebuchadnezzar’s body responded to his sin (Daniel 4:28-33) and David whose health suffered because of his sin (Psalm 38:3).

4) I am saddened and compassionate for this 41% of people. At times in my life, I’m sure I would have qualified as one of them in certain ways. I’m glad to not be struggling with it anymore by the grace of God.

5) Terminology is important and when we call something that is blatantly SINFUL as “MENTALLY ILL,” then the Bible is no longer useful to people who are looking for answers to “mental illness” which is not in the Bible. However, when we translate the observable behaviors/thoughts into biblical terminology, then we can utilize the GREATEST resource ever given to mankind: the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

While some mental problems are caused by physical factors, the majority of them often are not. The cause can often be SIN which leads to physical problems.

Sadly, even if ALL “mental illness” were caused by physical problems (and they are NOT!), but even if they were, the medications and secular counseling available is NOT working. It is woefully inadequate to address the matters of the heart that must be changed by the power of Christ. Is your hope in the world’s supposed remedies or in Christ as the remedy Who transforms the heart (Rom. 12:2)?

-Mark (let’s pray for this 41% of people to either be saved or sanctified by Christ)

No one wants to live with an “Abuser”

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Words are important.

I was thinking about this during a session I had years ago where the father was portrayed as an “abuser” when really he had mistreated one of his family members physically once. It was a one time occurrence yet he was characterized as an “abuser.” Because of that characterization, no one wanted to live with him anymore.

Now, please understand that I am not excusing his sin. It was inexcusable! It was despicable! He was sorrowful about it and was repentant for a ONE-TIME sinful act, yet now his family viewed him as an “abuser” with a “mental illness” that could never be overcome. How sad! I guess the power of Christ to BOTH forgive and empower us to overcome sin was not enough to overcome a one-time abusive event. How tragic!

So, you can see how terminology is important. Thankfully, we re-named his sin from “abuse” to “mistreatment” and he asked for forgiveness from his family. They forgave him and were reconciled immediately. It did not take months or years. They moved back in to the home 3 days later and they are still doing GREAT today by God’s grace!

-Mark (urging people to consider the importance of the words they use – do they point others to Christ or to hopelessness in man-made diseases)

Admission is not Confession!

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

In the self-help programs, the first step is to ADMIT you are powerless. It’s not a confession but an admission. There is a big difference. Anyone can admit a problem but confession is an admission to God rendering a change of heart through repentance.

Someone in the Bible in Exodus 9:27 and Exodus 10:16 “admitted” his problem but it didn’t bring a change of heart.

Confession brings heart change when the Holy Spirit is involved. Confession is agreement with God Who calls your sin “sin” and not a disease and then has provided a Savior for you to forgive you of your sin. All of this is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer.

Proverbs 28:13 reminds us: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

-Mark (I want mercy. I need mercy.)

Isn’t it ironic that our political leaders are calling each other corrupt but deny sin?

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

In every political season, it’s almost comical (if not so sad) to hear our political candidates talk about how corrupt our government is and yet they are part of it! You hear these guys talk about corruption in government and it’s just accepted by all of them and all of us as if, “that’s just the way it is.” How sad to accept corruption in our leaders!

Sin is so evident. Mankind seizes power and uses it for selfish, corrupt reasons. Sin manifests in front of our eyes yet we deny sin’s presence and even preeminence in our culture. Romans 1 reminds us that mankind will “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” and that means denying sin even when it is so clearly evident before our eyes. We acknowledge problems but do not always lay the blame on the right culprit: our sinful, selfish nature! Instead, we blame mental illness and the like…

In a fallen world, we need a Savior to save us from our sins. I am glad He is returning soon!

Happy Election Day! Go vote for the best sinner (or the least of sinners)!

-Mark (calling our attention to sin so that we will then turn to our Savior, Jesus Christ!)

Does Lindsay Lohan have a disease of addiction?

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

We need to pray for Ms. Lohan to find Christ. What does she need more: “recovery” from drugs in this life OR eternal life through Christ in the next life? For Christians, the answer is obvious because we believe in the afterlife of living in new bodies with our souls either in heaven or in hell.

I heard that Lindsay Lohan is using language now that she has a “disease” of a drug addiction. The reporters on tv applauded her recognition of the problem because she is no longer denying it. But she just failed another drug test so admitting the problem is not enough. She needs the power of Christ.

There is no such thing as willpower or “self-help.” We all need the power of Christ and His forgiveness for our sins. I am much in need of both…as is Ms. Lohan. So, while I am glad she went to a 28 day program, I wish she had heard the truth: that “addiction” is really a sin called “idolatry” for which we can be forgiven and transformed by the power of Christ when we surrender our lives to Him.

-Mark (praying for addicts everywhere to hear the truth about addictions)

Kinda sick of hearing how the church has hurt…

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m just kinda sick of hearing Christians say, “The church has hurt people.”

No one with any intelligence can argue with that statement, but should that stop ministry today? No, of course not.

Has the church hurt people? Yes. Will we again? Yes. But can’t we ask for forgiveness and repent by loving people with the truth?

What is the church? A building? No! It’s the people of God and people, even Christians, are capable of acting selfishly and sinfully though we should not. It happens when we walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16).

So, let’s get over our failures and recognize that there is much work to be done!

-Mark (sunbathing in the grace and mercy of God)

All done in the CONTEXT of the Gospel

August 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Rules, rules, rules…As parents, we discipline our children and give them rules and more rules but do we ever deal with the heart of the child?

All discipline must be done in the context of the Gospel and go after the HEART.

Use every opportunity to point your child to the good news of the Gospel. Say this to your child: “I love you but your behavior just now was sinful and wrong in God’s eyes. But let’s pray to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you, and then ask Him to empower you to overcome this sinful temptation inside of you.”

I want to encourage you to live in a daily context of the Gospel never forgetting the importance of the message that we are tempted to sin but are forgiven by Him when we do. Teach your child to trust in God’s forgiveness alone for eternal life.

-Mark (Gospel-saturated parenting is the only kind of parenting that works)

P.S. A new book called “Addiction-Proof Parenting” will be out by October of 2010 that will help you to implement stragtegies to parent your children in a Christ-centered way.