does mental illness diqualify you from being a leader in the church?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by chipsgirl, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since we are on this kick about who's qualified to be teachers,deacons, ministers, etc. I figured I would throw this one out there.
    Do you think someone who has a mental disorder should be allowed to be in a leadership role in the church?? This includes but is not limited to depression, bi-polar, eating disorders, etc...
     
  2. PastorGreg

    PastorGreg
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought it was a Biblical requirement! [​IMG]
     
  3. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be nuts? Does seem that way doesn't it? [​IMG]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Didn't know you were ifb, Greg!

    You said it jokingly (I saw the [​IMG] icon) but wonder if some are pastors who HAVE serious psychological problems? Perhaps that is why they are in the ministry?

    I've seen pastors who are megalomaniacs, power-hungry, sodomizing/perverted, inferiority complex, etc

    There's none out there who are normal except me and thee . . and I'm not so sure of thee. [​IMG]
     
  5. PastorGreg

    PastorGreg
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Didn't know you were ifb, Greg!

    You said it jokingly (I saw the [​IMG] icon) but wonder if some are pastors who HAVE serious psychological problems? Perhaps that is why they are in the ministry?

    I've seen pastors who are megalomaniacs, power-hungry, sodomizing/perverted, inferiority complex, etc

    </font>[/QUOTE]Good point, Dr. Bob, but are these not all truly ultimately spiritual problems?
     
  6. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    0
    These are spiritual problems but does that make a person less qualified? I'm talking serious illnesses too. Not just someone who is having a bad week but people who are diagnosed by a professional.
     
  7. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it depends on how well the individual can control things. Depression is common and often mild enough so as not to interfere with an individual's functioning. Those who are ill enough to require hospitalization, while they could still serve God, might not be the best candidates for positions of spiritul leadership.
     
  8. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Mental Illness and Depression are very different things, too. Someone with bi-polar (manic depressive) or paranoid schizophrenia would have quite a hard time ministering to the flock, I would think.

    I'll admit that I have a hard time understanding depression. I was sad when our dil lost her baby. I was sad when I found out our high school senior daughter was pregnant. I can think of another time I was sad... but I still had peace that God was in control. My sadness only lasted a day or so and I was able to see the other side of things. I can't identify with depression so I cannot understand depression.

    As a church member, I wouldn't want a mentally ill pastor, even if his illness was controlled by medications or ECT. I worked a number of years in a private mental institution back in the 1970's as a Psych Tech. Some of our members are from the area of Aurora, Il. It was Provena Mercy Center last I heard. I worked in the old brick building run by nuns.
     
  9. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would think it might be hard for a schizphrinc but I don't know a lot about that disease so who am I too say what they can and can't do. As for depression there are many degrees that would affect your outlook and attitude on things.
     
  10. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    But Tav---Blackbird would have pleaded "The Fifth" if your Search Committee would have interviewed him!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,508
    Likes Received:
    3
    You don't understand it because you haven't had it. I don't understand childbirth. In many if not most cases mental illness is a disease like diabetes which is treatable via medication. Would you have a problem with a diabetic pastor? My pastor has leukemia but it's in remission. I don't cease to be amazed how much he accomplishes despite this physical problem.
     
  12. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mental illness is not in most cases any type of Spiritual Problem. It is time that we stopped treating people with Mental Illnesses in that fashion.

    It is proven that lesser levels of ceratonin in the brain causes problems, this is corrected with Prozac or various others in the same way that people that have underactive or overactive thyroids are treated for with thyroxene for weight problems.

    People get depressed for all manner of reasons, being depressed should not disqualify anyone for any service position in a church if that is what God has called them to do.

    Ultimatley it is people that have been through this stuff that are more real in personality anyway. It has been my experience that a number of people in churches pretend to be something that they are not anyway which is far more reason for disqualification. Due to bearing a false testimony.
     
  13. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    I don't know, either! But I can tell ya this---

    I have met some "Strange Rangers" comin' through the church hallways through the years!!!! And I'm not talkin' about some mental disorder---depression type things treatable with Prozac type drugs---just "Strange Rangers!!!" Know what I mean???
     
  14. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Please re read what I said. I never said someone with treatable depression shouldn't be a pastor but did say
    and

    We have a church leader on medication for depression. I won't say his position because of privacy issues. Our church gave him paid leave and a 'donation' while he sought treatment and got 'better'.

    I readily admitted that I cannot understand depression because I don't suffer from depression. I really thank the Lord for that too.

    Would YOU want a pastor who was a Paranoid Schizophrenic or Manic Depressive? Have you ever taken care of someone with these conditions?
     
  15. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    "Would YOU want a pastor who was a Paranoid Schizophrenic??"

    So everybody is against Blackbird!! The deacon's talk about Blackbird! The little "Bitties" in the SS class--they ain't studyin' their lesson---they're tryin' to get rid of Blackbird!!! So far, it ain't workin' :D :D

    Blackbird went to the Dr. the other day---Doc gave him a shot to cure "Everythingitus" [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I've never been depressed---as a clinic would define depression---but I can tell you this---17 years in preaching---you can't go that long without some sort of "Spiritual Oppression" being cast upon yourself!!!

    Oppressed---yes! Cure comes through spirit control of the flesh! I learn to laugh a lot--the word from the Word says that laughter doeth good like a medicine!!! I learn to deny self---catch the "John The Baptist" mentality---"HE must increase---I must decrease!"

    Depressed--I sympathize with those who are and pray for them and speedy recovery!!

    Brother David
     
  16. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    I fail to understand why Christians make a distinction between physical illness and so-called mental illness. :( To imply that "mental illness" has a spiritual cause is just as ridiculous as saying cancer has a spiritual cause.

    A question: If "mental illness" does not have a physical cause, that is, depression by a chemical imbalance in the brain, panic disorder by overactive brain cells, etc, how can it be treated by medication?
     
  17. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen, Brother OldRegular -- Preach it! [​IMG]
     
  18. Christianbsw

    Christianbsw
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually some physical illness may manifest itself through symptoms that also occur with mental illness. Just because someone has symptoms that are associated with mental illness does not mean they are mentally ill. Too often, people decide to diagnose themself or other, good meaning people diagnosis them. Diagnosis can be very confusing for those who have not been trained as many illnesses share symptoms. Some medications may have negative affects on one person while having positive affects on another. It is always best to consult a physician and other medical professionals when concerns arise.
     
  19. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,680
    Likes Received:
    240
    Well, let's take a look. Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is characterized by "extreme changes in mood, thought, energy and behavior."*

    The symptoms are as follows:

    For the high's:</font>
    • Increased physical and mental activity and energy</font>
    • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence</font>
    • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior</font>
    • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue</font>
    • Grandiose delusions, inflated sense of self-importance</font>
    • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas</font>
    • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility</font>
    • Reckless behavior</font>
    • In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations</font>
    For the low's:
    </font>
    • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells</font>
    • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns</font>
    • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety</font>
    • Pessimism, indifference</font>
    • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy</font>
    • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness</font>
    • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness</font>
    • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal</font>
    • Unexplained aches and pains</font>
    • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide</font>
    Regardless of the cause, all of these disqualify a person from any kind of leadership. The thing to note is that all these symptoms are behaviors and attitudes that are out of control.

    A vital criterion of one who is qualified for office in the Church is sobriety or self-control. If one must use drugs to treat behavioral or attitudinal problems then one is not self-controlled.

    * http://www.dbsalliance.org/info/bipolar.html
     
  20. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,165
    Likes Received:
    322
    There is one very obvious reason why those who are afflicted by unremitted schizophrenia (in particular) should not have leadership in the church.

    They cannot always discern between their delusions and reality.

    HankD
     

Share This Page

Loading...