|“The Exorcism” — Limbourg Brothers, ca 1412-16|
I think Dr Grcevich states his point aptly when he says, "We know that far too many people have been wounded by the church from accusation during episodes of mental illness, and we have a difficult time encouraging those who have been wounded to give church another try."
I wonder if the increase might instead be due to the Church's failure to show compassion and remember verses like this:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3, NIV)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12-13, MSG)
“Don’t criticize, and then you won’t be criticized. For others will treat you as you treat them. And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your own? Should you say, ‘Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t even see because of the board in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother. (Matthew 7:1-5, TLB)
As the Church grows in its understanding and inclusion of those with mental health issues, let Bible verses like these be your guide rather than foolish conjecture based on limited understanding.
~ Barb Ditttrich