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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I emailed a christian ministry with exactly this question. This is the reply I got. What do you think about this? I think these people have never experienced depression and have no clue what they are talking about. I even heard a minister say that chemical imbalances don't exist and depression is simply caused by false thinking. This kind of crap angers me.
Wasn't Paul also depressed in the bible? As far as I remember he himself writes about that there were situations where he wanted to die. But that doesn't fit to their world view where being depressed is a sin...
I think especially christians who suffer from depression have to be very careful who they exposed themselves to because if you end up in a church filled with people who believe stuff like that then it'll not do you any good.
How exactly does it help you when you're depressed and then someone comes along telling you that it's your fault and that you simply have to change your thoughts?

Depression is a product of being self-centered rather than being Christ centered. When one is depressed it is because their focus is wrong. Depression is not greater than the word of God. Nothing is for that matter. Remember that whatever you think about you make bigger in your mind. So as you think about yourself, that will become bigger. If you think about God, he will become bigger in your thoughts.

We need to stay full of God to withstand the pressures of this world. If we don't keep ourselves full of God in our mind, then when tough things happen (and they will), the things will seem bigger than God. On a daily basis, you need to have a thankful heart. Ask the Holy Spirit for something you can thank God about. Start out with the fact that as a believer, you aren't going to hell! How awesome is that! Then start praising God every day, even if you don't feel like it. Praise glorifies God, helps us to keep our focus on Him, and keeps the enemy away.

Paul tells us in Phil 4:8‑9 what we are to think on. Rom 8:6 tells us to keep our mind full of the word of God, for if we don't we will have destruction. Isa 26:3 tells us if our focus is on God, we will have perfect peace. We have the ability to bring thoughts captive and exchange them for God-thoughts (what the word of God says about us and to us).

Depression is the result of filling the mind with unbelief. As you exchange your negative thoughts for God-thoughts, you will find that you don't have enough room in your brain to be depressed. There is no depression with the Word of God. There is only life and peace.

Rom 12:2 tells us to renew our minds to prove the perfect will of God. 2 Cor 10 tells us to cast down anything contrary to the word of God and we can replace the wrong thinking with right thinking. Over and over we are told about keeping our thoughts on God. If we don't do this, we can be destroyed.

Keep your eyes on the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. If you haven't received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, you need to do that by simply asking God (Luke 11:13).

If what you think or say does not line up with the Word of God, then you need to change what you are thinking or saying (Romans 12:2; Rom 8:6). As you renew your mind, your confidence in the Word of God and His promises will increase along with your trust in Him.
 

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I think that depression is two-fold.

1) For some (not all) it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The person may what to feel happy, may have their eyes fixed on Christ, may be growing in faith in Christ, but still feel down and out because of the chemical imbalance. My husband falls into this category. He is studying to be a preacher but without his depression medicine everything in his life just goes wrong.

2) I firmly believe that depression can also be caused when there is unrepentant sin in a person's life; and I believe that it can affect the believer more than the unbeliever. While as believers all of our sins prior to Christ are forgiven, it is our responsibility to ask God for forgiveness for those we commit after our salvation. The Holy Spirit is there to convict us of unrepentant sin in our lives, and if we ignore it too long the end result is depression.

3) In Christians, depression can also be caused by believing wrong interpretations of scripture. For instance, Christians who believe that there can come a point where you sin so much that you are no longer saved often become more depressed than those who believe that we are to try NOT to sin, and in that way not abuse God's grace, but still realize that God does forgive.


So in general, I think that depression in Christians is more than just spiritual and more than just chemical. If there is a chemical imbalance there, medicine should help. But for some that is not the answer. Also for some it may be both, and in those cases addressing the chemical imbalance allows the person to think well enough to address the spiritual issues behind the depression.

I'm not an expert, but this is what I have found while dealing with my husband, at least.
 
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Our minds are capable of storing an infinite amount of memory and thoughts, so to say that if you fill your mind with God-thoughts, or thoughts about any one particular thing, then your depression will be cured is simply wrong. Latching on to an idea will not cure depression, it can only be cured by tackling the problems which caused it. Maybe the problems some specific people are related to spirituality, but with most people this probably not the case.
 

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It isn't a sin. That seems silly to me.
 

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Paul - awesome SINGLE dude of the Bible. He was a fisherman who liked to CUSS until he got God-smacked (that kind of smack doesn't hurt, it HEALS).

Depression is in effect taking on more than we can handle, and becoming overwhelmed. At those times, we cast our burdens on Him and focus on what we can accomplish. Easier said than done, I know, but people in the Bible faced many the same issues as we do - they just didn't have the Internetz......probably a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think that mainstream christianity itself is depressing.
I mean what kind of hope does it offer for sick and suffering people who lost
all perspective in life and simply don't know how it's supposed to go on and how they're supposed to keep functioning in life because of their sickness and depression?
What does christianity have to offer them other than telling them that one day in heaven everything will be okay? How does this help them with there problems here and now?
At least for me this suffering gracefully stuff doesn't work.
 

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Paul - awesome SINGLE dude of the Bible. He was a fisherman who liked to CUSS until he got God-smacked (that kind of smack doesn't hurt, it HEALS).

Depression is in effect taking on more than we can handle, and becoming overwhelmed. At those times, we cast our burdens on Him and focus on what we can accomplish. Easier said than done, I know, but people in the Bible faced many the same issues as we do - they just didn't have the Internetz......probably a good thing.
Paul wasn't a fisherman.
 

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There was a christian teacher who said that some depression is a sin because it is the individual focusing on him or herself and problems, oppose to focusing on god. Incidentally, after each time he would say it, he would discourage anyone to go off their depression meds--I assume this was his disclaimer so he couldn't be sued if someone went off their meds and said he told them to as this was a very tight-knit, cult-like group I was involved in and he knew he had great authority over people and their actions.
 

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I think depression is a human condition and one that is helped with reading verse and praying. I know when i'm done praying I feel euphoric, when I read verse I feel euphoric and when I think of future in heaven same thing, euphoria. Euphoria is starting to become a natural feeling for me, so for me, reading the Bible and praying has been a cure for my depression. I don't believe depression is a sin.
 

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Clinical depression runs through my mother's side of the family. For generations members have had it. It's genetic in some people, a chemical imbalance in others, and brought on by any amount of hardships in the rest. So no, I don't believe it is a sin.
 

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I think that a minister telling someone that their depression can be healed by religion is utterly irresponsible.

But what do I know.
 

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That's almost the same reply I got back from the college ministry I was in, and got kicked out and blacklisted 2 weeks afterwards from all United Methodist Churches in the Southeast USA. All because I was comfortable enough with my church friends at the time to say I was depressed and have been suffering from depression. Apparently my lack of faith in God caused the depression and now that my influence may bring others down they kicked me out.

And then they wonder why I defaced their building 2 weeks later in a medically induced suicidal rage.
 

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If it is then i've been a sinner all my life, but then again, i've been a sinner all my life anyway :b
Just toss that rock in the backpack with all the other ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There was a christian teacher who said that some depression is a sin because it is the individual focusing on him or herself and problems, oppose to focusing on god. Incidentally, after each time he would say it, he would discourage anyone to go off their depression meds--I assume this was his disclaimer so he couldn't be sued if someone went off their meds and said he told them to as this was a very tight-knit, cult-like group I was involved in and he knew he had great authority over people and their actions.
What was the name of this minister?

I understand how he thinks. He thinks how could a person possibly be depressed if she believes in an allmighty God who can fix everything? This sounds logical. But the problem is that it doesn't work for everyone the way it supposedly works for him. The one I am talking about claims to not have had a cold or headache in decades. I don't even know if this is true or just a lie.
Even if it is a reality for him then this still doesn't give him the right to talk so lightly about depression. This is like a male who talks about PMS and says that women shouldn't complain so much about it and just deal with it. You simply cannot do this and talk about things you don't understand or have personally experienced.
 

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Is diabetes a sin? Is cancer?
 

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Mother Teresa:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3642383/Mother-Teresas-crisis-of-faith.html

She's also been criticized by not using funds to help people better with improved treatments, because she was overly concerned about how that would be perceived. If that does pan out, then there are problems with even the saints themselves.

But yea, you ask a few priests a question like that expect different answers. You also do realize that there's a wide tradition of Platonism and Aristoleanism with the church, right? That means that priests do also read into stuff like stoicism of Epictetus and Marcus Aerelius' Meditations. Aquinus also had a bromance with Cicero.

So anyway beyond that, I'd recommend reading something beyond just the Bible or asking some random priest on the internet. Science, philosophy, and even the opinions of other priests that have ruminated upon the subject. If the interpretation of Genesis isn't even resolved by any measure, how do you think that "depression is a sin?"

As for myself, iin short no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I really can't even comprehend how people could fall for Camping. Some of them must be really pissed now cause they gave up everything and hoped for the end. Boy this has to suck.

@ Cheesesteakjimmy

I'm not catholic so I don't ask priests but it's the same with protestant ministers. They also have many different opinions and interpretations of the bible which is really annoying.
 
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