Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Depression, Christians, and Medicine Part 6

After a two-week hiatus (having a baby has a tendency to do that) I will attempt to close out this series with this post and then one more tomorrow.  Today I want to offer my position and then tomorrow offer a few practical applications to my position. 

Should depressed Christians take medicine?

Presupposing that we are whole people, that have been wholly effected by the Fall, but will be totally redeemed, through the gospel (with it’s ripple effects)—which is absolutely sufficient, though God still uses means to make the gospel shine, my answer to this question is a jam-packed “maybe”. 
Allow me to fill that “maybe” out a little bit.  First of all, I do not think it is wise to ONLY take medicine.  So, if I were to counsel a believer to take medication I would also encourage them to seek godly counsel on top of it.  But that is nothing unusual.  Everyone needs sharpening by other believers in some way or another. 

Secondly, I do believe that many people are over-medicated and under-discipled.  I think the folks in the biblical counseling movement are partially right in saying that often our psychological troubles are not biological problems they are repentance problems.  But as noted previously that is not the ONLY problem. 

Help from Dr. Eric Johnson

Honestly, I think my professor Dr. Eric Johnson has answered this question in the most helpful way that I have seen.  He sees human beings as being spiritual, ethical, psychosocial, and biological with an “complex interdependence” (368) between them. 

 He draws it out this way:


And this is where I have found him extremely helpful.  From this he provides four simple rules for soul care:
  • Rule #1:  Christian soul-care providers are free to work at all levels.
  • Rule #2:  Christian soul-care providers should work at the highest levels possible. 
  • Rule #3: Christian soul-care providers should work at the lowest level necessary.
  • Rule #4: Christian soul-care providers need to transpose lower level activity into the spiritual order. 

In conclusion there are times when people do need to take medicine.  That decision is not one that should be entered into quickly.  Nor should it be seen as a “fix-all”.  We are complex human beings and we should really be ministered to on all levels. 

If you are taking medicine then rejoice in the fact that such advances in medicine were purchased on the Cross of Christ.  This is all part of redemption and there will be some day when we experience full redemption and you will not need to fulfill that prescription. 

Also, know that Christ can transform anything.  Your identity (if you are a believer) is found in Christ not in some sort of "disorder” that someone says that you have.  You are not a depressed Christian.  You are a Christian that happens to struggle with depression this side of total redemption. 

Should depressed Christians take medicine? 

Maybe, but never ONLY medicine. 
Now, bring on the discussion…
Screen Clippings and quotes from Foundations for Soul Care by Eric L. Johnson.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...