Why was Spurgeon depressed?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jedi Knight, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Jedi Knight

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    I heard on the raido a minister said Charles Spurgeon had long bouts with depression. Anyone know why he did?
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    one of the sad truths about many great Christian leaders is that they dealt with severe, and long lasting bouts of depression.

    This doesn't mean there was anything wrong with him spiritually. Perhaps he had an issue which medicine in his day did not fully understand. Honestly, there is reason to think that he had a perfectly treatable condition, but because of the lack of advanced understanding of these things had no access to it.

    Many creative and dynamic personalities suffer from depression like symptoms brought on by a chemical imbalance.

    Spurgeon is certainly one leader who accomplished great things for Christ in spite of his dealing with significant bouts of depression. There have been others.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    We have to remember that chemical imbalances have never actually been documented as causal in the way that many people think. The medicines used to treat them are treating symptoms. They are not sure that they treat causes. So we should be cautious with that kind of terminology and thinking.

    There are a number of factors, including personality, situation in life. Spurgeon had some very difficult battles for truth in the BBU, and that brought great turmoil to him. I would tend to believe the pressures of ministry, combined with his personality, led to it. He also had some great physical battles with gout.
     
  4. canadyjd

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    Spurgeon began preaching at a very young age (took his first church at 17, IIRR, and took the Main Street Baptist Church at 19). He had an incredible amount of success, but also was widely criticized by some in the press of his day because of his youth and lack of credentials (no seminary)

    There was an incident early in his ministry where someone yelled "fire" in a crowded hall (thousands of visitors to hear him) and several people were killed as the crowd panicked and fled. He felt a great amount of grief over that incident and some in the press blamed him.

    He also suffered from crippling "gout", which left him bedridden at times.

    He started orphanages and homes for widows, all of which were funded through the sale of his sermons and books (if I remember rightly).

    He died a young man (in his fifties), having burned himself out for his Lord, and He wouldn't have had it any other way. In fact, I believe one of his famous quotes is that he regretted only having one life to burn out for his Lord.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    My completely sarcastic answer would be that he was a Calvinist. And that is a joke!

    Lots of Biblical figures suffered from depression. One of the most amazing was Elijah who after standing up to the Prophets ran away from Jezebel and asked God to kill him.

    Martin Luther also suffered from depression. The famous story was that he was depressed and when he walked downstairs his wife was wearing mourning clothes. He asked her who died, and her answer was something along the line that she thought God must have died because of the way that he was acting.

    Sometimes depression comes because of overwork and lack of balance in the schedule of our lives. Sometimes, it is because we haven't been resting in the Lord and take more on ourselves than we ought to. Sometimes there are biuological factors involved. One parent was prone to depression.

    I am a big believer in what used to be called "besetting sins". I think each of us are prone to certain types of sin. This does not justify falling into sin, but it tells us where to place our guard. And for Spurgeon and others, that tendency to depression is one of those.
     
  6. Freedom

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    We haven't proven that chemical imbalances contribute to depression. That's true. But medication has been found to be effective many times. Yet, you jump to the conclusion that depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance but by personality problems or life situations. Can you prove that? A deacon in my previous church believed that depression was due to demon possession and indicated a spiritual problem requiring exorcism. How about that explanation?
     
    #6 Freedom, Jun 10, 2009
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  7. Revmitchell

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    The medications for depression often cause the problem to get worse than help. Depression can be managed with proper health by better eating habits and excersize.

    No one can give an explanation of his depression. But his life in the midst of it was a tool to glorify God.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Effective at treating symptoms. It has not been proven effective at solving problems. As Ed Welch puts it, medicine can't help you love God or your neighbor. It might bring some clarity to a thought process.

    Really? Where did I jump to that conclusion? Where did I say this? Please quote it for us.

    Are you denying that personality and life situation cause depression?

    yes. that's my experience. I tend to have a very introspective personality that second guesses a lot. Combine that with a bad circumstance and it causes me to be depressed. I am sure that has happened to you as well.

    Apart from the exorcism, it is possible. I was just teaching on this tonight in fact. Demonic activity is widely variant. There is no checklist that the Bible gives to diagnose demon influence or possession. Neither does it teach anything about exorcism. The biblical solution is the gospel and obedience to Christ.

    So I would urge strongly against the simplistic approach you have taken here (including attributing something to me that I did not say and do not believe). In issues like this, we need a more comprehensive approach.
     
  9. Jedi Knight

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    Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression But a good word makes it glad. I think prolonged depression can become physical ,but I think mostly anxiety is the root. Ever seen someone down and encourage them and the countenance change? I think a lot of doctors treat it like a physical only when it can be they need hope or a word from God to encourage them. Elijah got depressed when he focused on his situation and God encouraged him.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    And some are born with a chemical imbalance.
     
  11. Jedi Knight

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    That's why I said mostly.....but I think prescription drugs to cure depression is out of hand. Whatever happened to abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit? But a lost person gets depressed and uses prescriptions for a cure don't find spiritual help.....rather a band-aid.
     
    #11 Jedi Knight, Jun 10, 2009
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  12. preachinjesus

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    Sometimes, when I look through threads around here I have no trouble seeing why some of my friends find fundamentalists narrow minded and mean spirited.

    I've seen some people who have legitimate chemical imbalances helped tremendously through proper medication, effective therapy, and consistent prayer. Medication isn't the silver bullet for everyone, but when used in appropriate amounts while under the care and supervision of a trained clinical psychologist there can be amazing amounts of good done for someone.

    While in a previous ministry we had a young man who had attempted suicide and was constantly harming himself (and others.) His parents believed that all he needed was prayer and fasting. They said all that was affecting him was sin. After some careful and respectful council they relented and let us get him into therapy with proper (not over) medication. Five years later he is married, has a child, completed a college degree, and is holding a good job. While he is not a poster child, we can say there is some good in understanding how managed and supervised clinical care can help people. :)

    Depression absolutely isn't sin. We should shudder when people suggest it is.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Of course you do.Especially when that is what you want to find.
     
  14. Jedi Knight

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    I would not say all depression is sin,but we know worry is a sin which can lead to depression too. BTW preachinjesus.. was you implying I'm mean spirited because of my view?
     
    #14 Jedi Knight, Jun 10, 2009
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  15. preachinjesus

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    Nah, I think you've got a legitimate question. :saint:
     
  16. Bro. Curtis

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    Christ said a house divided cannot stand. Given the context in which he said it, I would take that to mean the Holy Spirit and a demonic spirit could not reside in the same body.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    And you could not be more correct.
     
  18. Freedom

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    Stress and worry can lead to heart attacks as well. Is a heart attack a sin?
     
  19. Deacon

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    Why was Spurgeon depressed?
    According to recent studies he watched too much T.V. as a kid. :smilewinkgrin:

    God's given each of us different gifts and temperaments

    A melancholy spirit challanges us to have a greater hope in God.

    Next Sundays morning class: Psalm 42/43

    Why am I so depressed?
    Why this turmoil within me?
    Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
    my Savior and my God.
    Psalm 43:5 HCSB

    Rob
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    It can be. The Bible certainly treats it like sin, for instance in Psa 42-43 and where depression is the result of failing to hope in God.

    When is it not a sin to fail to hope in God? The reasons for that lack of hope might be complex, but we need to start with some questions that often get overlooked.

    So again, the simplistic approach that you and some others are taking can be very destructive. I hope you won't involve yourself in people's lives until you get a better handle on the issues surrounding these matters. It is more complex.
     

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