Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by Wannabee, Nov 25, 2004.

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  1. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    We all sin but presumably it doesn't cause schizophrenia in all of us. Schizophrenia is a result of the Fall. I think it's being used as an umbrella term for a host of problems with various causes, everything from dietary imbalance to demon-possession. So, some of it probably has a physical cause and should be dealt with by a physician, some of it is possibly spiritual in some cases. We just can't pontificate about everyone, (she pontificates):)
  2. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Understood. And that is why I was referring specifically to "chemical imbalance" which I honestly think is a crock (as a purely medical problem). There certainly are mental problems that have physical as opposed to (or in addition to) spiritual causes.
  3. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    It's probably a bad guess at a problem like some of the bad medical guesses we used to make before we understood about germs, when we thought there were four humors in the body.
  4. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Meg is understanding exactly what I am proposing. Fred, it seems as if you and Joe are leaning into the idea that just because science cannot measure something with the ruler they have, that it is neccesarilly, by default, spiritual. In that regard, all medical disorders are ultimately spiritual. Should we then deal with all medical issues spiritually? No, some disorders call for medicines. Your idea that chemical imbalances is a crock is purely opinion. The medical community does not believe it is just a crock, and based upon their expertise, it is not just an opinion.

    This is an unfair generalization. All psychiatrists and all psychologists???

    I will add, no one addressed the fact that by and large, most all schizophrenics respond to medicinal treatment. It does not mask; it actually removes the symptoms. No you say, they are not treating the cause, just the symptom. I say, by treating the symptom, the cause is alleviated and ultiamtely cured.

    What does this mean? I have never met a doctor who gave medicine without a diagnosis attached. Diagnosis=cause.

    How shall I apply the above statement?

    [Edited on 1-4-2005 by Scott Bushey]
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Who told you that? Why do you think they call it mental disease.

    dis·ease ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-zz)
    A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.
    A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.
    Obsolete. Lack of ease; trouble.

    You say it has a physical cause; that means that something 'physically' is wrong, i.e. my arm hurts. I fell on it; there is a broken bone. The pain affects me 'mentally', physically, the broken bone is the problem.

    This is not 100% accurate Joe. In fact, there are studies that have shown that there is genetic defects in many cases of mental disorder and that of the 100 or so chemicals/compounds that are running rampant in our brains, there are certain groups of these chemicals missing from the equation is the schizophrenic. In the same way science treats a common cold, i.e we treat the symptoms, the same method is applied for the mental defficient. Tell me this, why is it that in the majority of manic depressive cases, these cases respond favorably to a simple salt, Lithium? The voices go away, the paranoia disappears......?

    Ever wonder why they call it 'practicing' medicine? I hate to break this to you Joe, but this is how medicine is. The doctors are practicing medicine (on you and I). They are practicing and will remain practicing. Treatments are generally hit or miss. Patient arrives with complaints, labs and scans are done, therapies applied. One doesn't work, try therapy number 2, and so on and so forth.

    Not 100% true. Do a google on schizophrenia and manic disorders. Read the medical lit and studies, not the opinionated stuff. see above.

    Joe, viruses were only proven by electron microscope in the 1950's; prior to that the common cold was hypothesis.....

    Joe, you're kidding me right? You know I have been a nurse for most of my life. I have worked in almost every sope of medicine.

    So you would treat a 'physical' cause as spiritual? Joe, just because science has not conquered the great frontier does not mean it is not physical. 100 years ago, you would have said cancer was spiritual to, based upon your approach.

    I agree with you in regards to psychology. I do not agree with you in regards to the idea that the gospel and psychiatry are incompatable. You don;t feel this way about medical doctors!
  6. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi


    I think the first thing we need to do is separate the mind from the body. You seem to be claiming that they are the same thing. They are not. The body is the physical, including the brain. The mind is the soul, or spirit. We need to keep them separate. Of course they affect each other, but they are different.

    If I am living a habitually sinful lifestyle then there will probably be physical ramifications. We can treat these symptoms, but the cause will still be present. That is because the cause is spiritual. It is because of sin, not because of some disease. A psychologist will look at the person as a victim of circumstances, not as a fallen creature who must repent. He will prescribe a drug that will hide the symptom of the ramification of the sin, but the sin will still be there and will cause further problems. Of course these drugs help the person cope, but they do not cure the person.

    If we have cancer it we might have spiritual symptoms as well. This is usually because we don't handle the disease in a biblical way. We must see all our circumstances under the sovereignty of God. Any and all aspects of our life are directly controlled by God. All challenges must be met with God and His glory as the main objective. A psychologist will see the person as a victim and try to help them cope. We don't want to cope, we strive to be overcomers, not merely attain the status quo. When the world sees us go through trials they should stand in amazement because we don't "fit the mold."

    This is not a "let go and let God" mentality. It is an aggressive Christ centered view that sees every challenge in life as an opportunity to grow in our relationship with Jesus, in our Christlikeness, in our ability to comfort others and to bring more glory to God.

    I will say though, that I will not tell someone to get off a prescribed drug. I am not a doctor. I will simply advise them to see a trusted medical doctor and let him determine the appropriate medication (or lack of).

    Check out this from "Time Magazine."
    This from a secular magazine.

    This simple fact is that we are not victims. We are all guilty and there is only one "cure" for our condition. Psychotherapy addresses the attitude about sin, claiming that the "victim" is okay. The medicine takes away the reality of the fallen condition, aiding the fallen man in believing that he is okay. His self esteem is puffed up, removing any sense of guilt. When man is puffed up, God is denigrated. Man's sinful state must be shown for what it is, not candy coated or blame shifted to the environment, parents, catastrophy or any other outside source. The Bible focuses on the guilt, the cause and the cure.

    Some more good resources:
    a) John Blanchard, Ultimate Questions (Evangelical Press)
    b) Philip Tait, The Real Thing (Grace Publications Trust)
    c) John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus (Zondervan)
    d) John MacArthur, Saved Without a Doubt (Victor)
    e) John MacArthur, "Examine Yourself"
    f) Walter Chantry, Today's Gospel (Banner of Truth)
    g) C. John Miller, Repentance and the 20th Century Man (Christian Literature Crusade)
    h) Joseph Alleine, A Sure Guide to Heaven (The Banner of Truth Trust)
    i) Ernest C. Reisinger, What Should We Think of the Carnal Christian (The Banner of Truth Trust)
    j) Sinclair B. Ferguson, Healthy Christian Growth (The Banner of Truth Trust)
    k) Wayne A. Mack, "œSpiritual Convictions" (Evaluation Worksheet) "“ See Appendix 9
    l) John MacArthur, Faith Works (Word)
    m) John B. Leuzarder, The Gospel for Children
    n) "œThe Character of Genuine Saving Faith," from The MacArthur Study Bible
    o) David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Out of the Depths: Restoring Fellowship with God (Good News )
    p) Jim Elliff, Seeking After God
  7. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    I didn't mean to offend.
    Not kidding. Not assuming you don't know either. Simply an appeal. 100 years in a profession doesn't mean that one knows everything. I don't study medicine much Scott, but I also don't consider the mind to be medicine, as I shared above.

    Not what I said. I said I'd refer to a medical doctor, but not psychologist etc. and deal with the mind/spiritual problem biblically. By the way, physical medicine has been around and is supported by Scripture (Paul advising wine and numerous other examples that you're probably aware of). Psychotherapy is not. Biblical counseling is.

    No, not about medical doctors.

    I looked up schizophrenia on a Google search and found the same thing I've been saying. All they can point to are symptoms, no causes. Of course there will be symptoms. You refered to viruses. A person suffering from a virus has obvious physical symptoms. These conditions of the mind do not (yes I saw the scans). They are perceptions of symptoms, or the person's reactions, not physical symptoms. If I say I hear voices what does it mean? If I'm scared, what does it mean. If I can't cope, what does it mean? You can't slap a label on these "symptoms" and declare that I have a chemical imbalance. The scans do reveal symptoms, but are inconclusive. If I'm under a great deal of stress these same scans will change, and if I don't deal with it they will continue to change.

    Do we believe that Scripture is sufficient for all our faith and practice? Of course, and this is lived out when we apply it to the mind/soul.
  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Wannabee writes:
    How might you suggest you handle lung cancer Joe?

    So, just for the record, 100 years ago when people were dying of brain cancers or organic syndromes like syphillis, since they were not measurable, they were then spiritual, but today since they are measurable, they are not? In the same way, if in 100 years schizophrenia and manic depression are measurable,you will change your position from spiritual to physical conditions?

    [Edited on 1-4-2005 by Scott Bushey]
  9. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    Is homosexuality no longer a sin now that science has found a "cause" (i.e. genes) for it? How is that different?
  10. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Fred, Science has not found conclusively that homosexuals have a different strand. That would be monumental if it were true. There are studies that hold no water. You and I both know as believers that that will never happen as God is the knitter of the strand, and we all know that God is against homosexuality.

    let me say again (I thought I had cleared this up earlier on a number of posts). All disease is secondary to the fall. Though you and I are sickened by homosexuality, it is not a disease (it will not kill you-however, HIV may, but thats secondary to the lifestyle). Gene pools are not signs of sickness, they are blueprints of individual life. Genetic flaws however can be challenged in this regard: If I took LSD when I was a wild child and altered my DNA, and this causes me to end up with brain cancer one day, I hve aquired a disease secondary to drug abuse. Just like the 'downe syndrome' child, DS is not necessarilly a disease, it is a genetic defect. It is measurable from sign and symptiom. There is no treatment to change that. It is not sin. Now if the DS child needs medicine because the defect causes the child to require say diabetes medicine (DS children do have special medical needs), is this not secondary to the genetic defect? It is measurable. Chromosome studies can prove this. In regards to the homosexual. Nothing in the genetic strand will make them outwardly ill, physically. based upon that, this is a red herring.
  11. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Organic is the key word Scott. They had obvious physical symptoms. I think I was pretty clear on this.

    I'll bow out now. I think we understand each other and neither is convincing the other. Those who read can come to their own conclusions.

    A few last comments.

    Do we address felt/perceived needs, or genuine needs?

    Do you know if there are any documented cases of Christians who became schizophrenic? Depression gets us all, and is not always improper, but some of these conditions are much more serious. It would be interesting to know if true believers experience these symptoms.

    As for your cancer question.

    When Pam had cancer I held my own the first time, but caved the second time. I tried, but was not equipped to handle it. She did well the first time, but caved as well the second. The third and worst time 'round we both relied on God and saw it as an oppotunity to live out our faith. We heard testimony later of the affect we had on others because our view was God centered rather than self centered. The spiritual ramifications were depression oriented the first two times, we were defeated in a sense. The last time around we experienced tremendous spiritual growth, and marital growth as well. It was because of the Gospel Scott, plain and simple.

    Again I appeal. Separate the mind from the body. The soul is no place for the secular to be meddling (reread the Westminster quote above).

    Thanks for the challenging interaction Scott. It's been fun and a great chance to work through this again. Blessings to you and yours this new year.

    [Edited on 4-1-2005 by Wannabee]
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