Mental illness is that: illness. I'm frankly amazed at some of the ignorance that is being shown on this thread. My family is riddled with severe and not so severe bi-polar disorder. There is a strong genetic component to the disorder. When I was younger I refused to believe that it was a real disorder. Somehow it must be a contrived or imagined condition. I was wrong. Bi-polar may be overdiagnosed at times. But, genuine bipolar exists. And, no, the affected person can't just 'get a grip' once a mania or depressive mood begins. No, discipleship won't cure it or enable them to 'get a grip'. Neither will counseling alone. And, you can't just throw lithium at it either. It takes work with the body (medicine), mind (therapy), and relationships (family and church). There isn't a simple solution. And, no, it is not an issue of people being weak Christians or unbelievers. Most of the people in my family with bipolar are devout Christians. Bipolar disorder is most often found among the extremely intelligent and creative, by the way. The general population doesn't understand it; and the church, on the whole, surely doesn't. And, just so you know. Some of the cases in my family are so bad that they have become lifelong clinical case studies. You wouldn't want to know the details. It would ruin your day. It might just ruin your week. If this read like a rant, I make no apology. Some things are worth ranting about. What should this church do? It is hard to give specific advice, but they shouldn't just shun him. Tim's advice is good. The elders must help this family. Otherwise they are not fulfilling their call. If it had not been for godly elders in our church when I was growing up, most likely my family would not exist. Literally. -----Added 2/18/2009 at 07:14:10 EST----- If the man is truly bipolar, this would be the last thing you want to do; especially if he is not in a managed state.