The Fine Line

Healing_the_Sick003 CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATIONS VS  MEDICAL  DIAGNOSIS

As the mother of a son, who was bi-polar and committed suicide, it has always bothered me, when a Christian, would just say these diseases were of the devil.   The devil never created one thing, EVER…he only destroys, and seeks to kill.  God created my son and your children, and knew every hair on his head, for my Bible tells me so.   My son also, was saved 8/2/90 at 11 years old.  I know where he is. With my Jesus.  For if my Jesus knew every hair on his head, and knew him in my womb, then my Jesus knew he had a genetic chemical imbalance to his brain, before he was even born, and loved him in spite of it.   (Chromosome 18 from the father…as Alziehmer’s is chromosome 19.)

I have known and had a lot of broken people in my life through my long years, in all kinds of situations and illnesses.   Those that I have held up deeply as my role models, were those that surpasses unimaginable circumstances, and not just survived, but, overcame.   The first, came when I was in high school.  Two friends of mine then, (brother & sister) had to get through the deaths of both their parents, who were killed by a train.  It was a horrific tragedy at the time.   The other, a woman friend of my parents, I loved and revered.  Alice young, had done things dare-devil, like jumping off a tressel bridge into the river, swimming.  She had had a double mastectomy, had gall bladder out, appendix out, had a hysterectomy, never having her own children.  But, Allie, was without a doubt a role model still for us young girls when we were young.  She was upbeat, an optimist like my father, and could be so funny.  She was an excellent swimmer and taught us all to perfection.  Her hair was black and naturally curly and she always wore that bright red lipstick and nail polish.  I loved this woman, and as I had my own children, used to run into her, still pretty with salt & pepper hair, and freckles…and that red lipstick in her 80’s.

Then, I too remember with deep respect my friend Arlene, married too, with 4 children, who knew the God that saved her without a doubt!  Two of her children (girls) were both with Down Syndrome.  I’ve lost touch through the years, but, the last time I saw her with her girls was at the doctors and the oldest was very deformed in her 40’s and in a wheel chair.  Arlene jumped for these girls and they were in placement here for a while, and she had all agencies ready at a moments notice.  Like a general,  this beautiful woman, had sacrificed her life with her remarkable husband, for the care of these two girls.  For Arlene knew her Bible and she knew Jesus.  Once visiting her with a back sprain, here she was in bed…her Bible next to her, and all the phone books, paperwork, alongside.    Still telling VNA or others what had to be done.  She was amazing!

I’ve known others with children with Bi-Polar disorder and mental illnesses as my son.  One woman who was also saved, later divorced, had a husband who was schizophrenic and they had two sons.  She really struggled as a single mom.   Continually praying her sons would not get this illness.  Some time later she had a thyroid problem and the doctors took it out.  If you don’t know about thyroid, it can cause horrific mood swings as bi-polar, when taken out.  It did her….and she was later diagnosed with bi-polar, when it was the thyroid removal.   She moved, then came back..and we lost touch.  I only pray too, her sons, who carry this gene of their father, never were touched by this illness.

I’ve had preachers way back, saying “where’s your faith?”  My answer is, how dare  you?   Look at my testimony and tell me I didn’t have faith, when I fought all my life, and looked the devil right in the eye, telling him, “No way would you win!”    Plato said in “Dialogue, Apology sec 38, “The life which is UNexamined is not worth living!”    And this writer, had examined her life, and now has the answers in my mid 70’s that I couldn’t have surmised young.

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant.  It is what I have done with WHERE I HAVE BEEN, that should be of interest.”  Georgia O’Keefe 1976.  And as I will write here, it is that material, choice, and WHAT we DO with what we have been through that God will eventually judge.  (C.S.Lewis)

Do I believe in healing? ABSOLUTELY!  I’ll take it any way God gives it to me.  But, as I wrote in my books, it hasn’t always been just in the supernatural having hands lain on me.   I’m cured from long years of asthma, having had horrific allergies as a child.   Do I believe God was in charge? Yes, but  so were my allergy doctors and a round purple med called Advair.  I took Advair for 3 years, and I haven’t even any allergies any longer.   Cured, healed!  For I remember this woman in another church I was in the 80’s-90’s, who had asthma so so bad.  My understanding is she went into an awful asthma attack,  in her apartment, and refused to call 911,  instead calling a friend to pray for her.  She had a nebulizer and inhalers, and nothing worked.   This woman died at only 45 years old, because she did not do in the natural what she should have.  Call 911…(finally a neighbor did).  When you have asthma, your lungs close up, and the airways, and you start to hyperventilate and then panic sets in, because you literally cannot breath.  In that FAITH, God uses doctors too.  You can all pray for me, but, I will also take a step of faith, while trusting God, and call emergency!   That is just good common sense.

I can speak from another experience too, when I asked my home leader for help needing my inhaler from a pharmacy, and was starting to hyperventilate too.  I asked for a mere load of $15 for Albuterol, gasping…I was turned down. I had chest pains by this point as well…I got in my car and cashed a bad check, hardly being able to breathe, driving 6 miles to the pharmacy, who took immediate care of me, emergency.   I could have been dead, like my friend above.  My life was more important than a $25 bank charge.  Trusting God too, the check never bounced, and God intervened.   So, do I trust HIM?  You betcha, and now I’m healed!   Even when ragweed and goldenrod is out, I never have to take a pill or use my inhaler.    Thank you Jesus.

I have had osteo porosis, osteo penia, sciatica, stenosis, degenerative arthritis for 40 years, starting when I was in my 30’s because of the abuse I went through in my 20’s.   Common sense says, to do in the natural and let God do in the supernatural.  But, sometimes through doctors and medicine for HE gave us the technology.   Sometimes, too, God doesn’t always heal us.  Swaggart said this years ago, and I agree.   “The longer you are exposed to a relationship with God and the more time you spend trying to really familiarize yourself in the Word, the more you realize this:  When you try to make absolute statements about what God must or must not do, almost invariably you are WRONG!  And this doesn’t indicate a problem with God or HIS Word; the problem lies ALWAYS …with man’s conception of what God should or shouldn’t be like.  Certainly testifying is a good, moral, spiritually uplifting practice.  And we should give God glory and the credit when HE goes out of HIS way to bless us with a prayer answer.”   But no one is going to tell me I don’t have enough faith!  Not with all I’ve had in my life.   For no one trusts my Jesus and relies on only ONE Jesus, more than me all these years.

There were no CATT scans, MRI’s, X-Rays, or computers in Jesus time.  It is pure blind foolishness not to go to doctors, and do what they say, while believing and keeping your faith.    Well, this is the same for those that have mental health issues.   Many of our soldiers are coming home with deep depressions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and loss of limbs as well.   They have seen their brothers sometimes blown a part, and more in their young lives than we can imagine.  They need help, as all with any mental illness, and who are we to judge?

I read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and he talked about philosophy of Freud, which is the direct contradiction to Christianity.  “And also in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jung.  But when Freud is talking about how to cure neurotics, he is speaking as a specialist in his own subject, but when he goes on to talk about general philosophy he is speaking as an amateur.  It is therefore quite sensible to attend to him with respect in one case and not the other…and that is what I do.  But, psychoanalysis itself, apart from all the philosophical additions that Freud and others have made to it, is NOT the least contradictory to Christianity.

It’s technique overlaps with Christian morality at some points and it would not be a bad thing if every person knew something about it; but it does not run the same course all the way, for the 2 techniques are doing rather different things.

When a man makes a moral choice 2 things are involved.  One is the act of choosing.  The other is the various feelings, impulses, and so on, which his psychological outfit presents to him, and which are the raw material of his choice.  What psychoanalysis undertakes to do is to remove the abnormal feelings, that is, to give the man better raw material for his acts of choice:  morality is concerned with the acts of choice themselves.   However, much you improve the man’s raw material, you have still got something else; the real FREE choice of the man, on the material presented him, either to put his own advantage first or put it last.  And this FREE choice is the only thing morality is concerned with.”   And God too..gives us FREE choice.

“The bad psychological material is NOT A SIN, BUT A DISEASE! ”  (IE Mental illnesses, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome….diseases, which are genetic).  “They do not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, THAT is very important.  Human beings judge one another by their “external actions”…what they see in the natural…” God judges them by their moral choices.  When a neurotic  who has a pathological horror of snakes, forces himself to pick up a snake for good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes, he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C.

It is well to put this the other way round.  Some of us who seem like quite nice people, may in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that they are really worse than those whom we regard as friends.  Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power say, of Himmler?  That is   why Christians are told not to judge. We only see the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw materials.  But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on WHAT he has done with it.  Most of the man’s psychological make-up is probably due to his body. When his body dries all that will fall off of him, and the central man, THE THING THAT HE CHOSE, THAT MADE THE BEST OR WORST out of this material, will stand naked. “(In front of God).   “All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off of some of us, all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off of others.  (ME, now with all my arthritis.)  We shall then, for the FIRST TIME, see every one as he really is.  There will be surprises!”  We’re each progressing at either one state or another.

Most Christians writes talk about mere sins of thought as if they were immensely important, and then talk about the most frightful murders and treacheries as if you had only tot to repent and all would be forgiven.  But I have come to see that they are right!  What they are always thinking of is the mark which action leaves on the central self, which no one sees in this life but which each of us will have to endure – or enjoy- forever.  One man may be so placed that his anger sheds the blood of thousands, and another so placed that however angry he gets he will only be laughed at.  But the little mark on his soul, may, be much the same in both.

Each one has done something to himself which, unless he repents, will make it harder for him to keep out of the rage next time he is tempted, and will make the rage worse, when he does fall into it. If he seriously turns to God, can have that twist in the central man straightened out again; each is, in the long run, doomed if he will not.  A moderately bad man knows he’s not very good. A real bad man thinks he’s all right.  You can understand the nature of drunkenness, sober, but not drunk.   Good people know about good and evil; bad people do not know about either. ” C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Some of us face the things we’ve done in life head on, with all the ramifications of bad choices, and want to know the why’s, therefore’s.  Other’s bury their sins, and put on a front.  God is going to see that raw material and see through.  For it’s not what we have done making mistakes that HE cares about, but what we do with it after repentance.   But, again like Lewis said, some things have a genetic cause, and/or a mental illness, and it doesn’t need repentance, but needs a cure!  My son needed a cure…  One day they will operate in the not too different future and repair the brain.  That day is coming very,  very soon.  Even by lasers, they’ll be able to go in and God will lead them.   This I believe.

The thing to remember is no matter how debilitated we are or screwed up…God chose US.  We did not choose him.  He has amazing power to hold us up and together, through all kinds of circumstances.  We are to learn WHO we are in CHRIST, BECAUSE of the choices we made.  But HE always heard me…He has never ever forsaken me.  I can’t turn back the clock and undo my choices young, in this life, but we are mandated by God, to help others not to make the same mistakes we did.  HE calls us…He wants us open…IN SPITE OF THE PAIN WE WENT THROUGH.   I am blessed beyond compare.    And no one is ever going to tell me I don’t have enough faith.  I am HIS…Right where He wants me, now leaving this for you the reader.   C.S. Lewis may be deep, but, it was deeply meditated on, by a scholar who I respect deeply.

His Face

Oh, Father God, as I pray and seek your face,
How wonderful thou art and how I yearn for your everlasting grace.
We have so much to be thankful for in this great land of ours,
And yet, we’re never satisfied, for our hunger is not yours.
For you desire us to be hungry for your word,
When the things of the world take our attention and lure.
The false piety we need to rid and come back to the Cross,
To seek your face in humility God, lest we stay forever lost.
JWorthen 2002

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