Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Depression, Christians, and Medicine Part 1

If I were to make a list of the most controversial questions to ask this would be one of them:  Should depressed Christians take medicine?

Over the next couple of days I plan on giving my answer to this question.  It may not be the right answer—but it’s my current position.  I do not claim to be an expert.  But I’m also not an idiot on the topic.  I have read and studied widely on this particular topic.  I have had to.  I’m a pastor.  By default I’m also a counselor. 

There are good Christian people that stand on both sides of this issue.  Some believe that taking medicine for depression is only masking the real problem—sin.  They believe that psychotropic drugs are unhelpful and should be avoided.  Some would counter by saying depression is just like diabetes or cancer or any other illness.  You give drugs for those—so why not use the God-given blessing of medicine to treat this illness? 

In my opinion both schools of thought can be overly simplistic.  And one thing I have found is that simplistic answers to this question will only muddy the waters of biblical truth.  So, in this short series I hope to avoid simplistic answers.  Here is the outline that we will follow:
  1. Admitting My Presuppositions
  2. Why the Diabetes/Depression Argument is Simplistic
  3. Why the No Psychotropic’s Argument is Simplistic
  4. What is at Stake 
  5. My Answer
  6. The Journey Forward (Making this Practical)

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