Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Churches Understanding of Mental Illness & Suicide
Several years back I did a post entitled: "Is Suicide The Unforgivable Sin." It has one of the most viewed and discussed post on Preacherman. I am very saddened by the loss that Pastor Rick Warren and his family are facing right now with the death of their son. I cannot imagine the pain. As a minister I have done funerals for people who have committed suicide. They aren't easy. Many questions follow from family and friends. Mental illnesses such as depression face millions. I have hear ministers try to just talk people into feeling good from the pulpit. I have heard ministers try to even guilt people into not having depression claiming it is lack of faith or focus. I strongly believe that it is not lack of faith and the claims, stances and approaches the Church has taken shows our ignorance. Ministers, church leaders need to make people who suffer with depression and mental illness feel good and be aware that their are medications that can and will help. As Churches we need to deal with real questions concerning the topic of suicide. Some of the questions that I posed in my previous article referenced above addresses the following questions. We need not be afraid but ask and seek the answers. We can not ignore this issue. I know this subject is very sensitive, yet I want your true answers to the questions you choose to respond to as well. The questions: Is suicide self-murder? If confession cannot be made after the act, then where does the soul go? Is there such a thing as pre-confession? Is the unforgivable sin suicide? Is there any sin that Jesus won't forgive? Is God's Grace big enough and cover even suicide? What does the Bible say about the "Unforgivable sin?" Does the Bible say it is unforgivable? What feelings does the act of suicide bring on loved ones? What are some signs of someone who might commit suicide? Does the act of suicide give loved ones hell on earth as they have feelings of guilt, blame, loss, sadness, depression, and even questions such as these and on and on? Have you ever had these thoughts? How have anti-depressants helped your life? Does it make you mad when preacher make believers feel guilty who are on these drugs and can it drive a person to the act of suicide? How can we become more educated, compassionate and offer help when it comes to those suffering with mental illness and depression? What can ministers do to become more informed? What has your experience been as a minister/counselor when it comes to this? What advice or counsel have you given to help people who have lost someone to suicide? What do you think? Share your thoughts.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Where do you go to Church and do they care?
I have been employed by various Churches. I have placed membership at various churches. Some of the Churches cared about me spiritually and others didn't. Some offered relationships for my family and I others didn't. Some saw talents in us and used them and others didn't. So, just curious, where do you go to Church and why do you go there. Are they meeting your needs? Do you have relationships? Community? Are they using your talents? How long would it be before someone knew you were gone? I have been to Churches to visit and the next week we get a glad you were here letter. I have missed 2 or 3 months at a church and never received a letter or phone call? Shouldn't Churches keep up with their members better than that? Should those who lead the church keep better track of those who go to their Churches? What has your experience been? What do you think? Share your thoughts.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
How far is too far?
How far is too far? Should Christians tolerate this? Why or why not? Is there a difference in turn the other cheek and standing up for what is right? Stand up to those who would tarnish the name of Jesus Christ? Would Muslims tolerate something like this if it were about Mohammed? Should Christians just sit back and tolerate this? Why or why not? How does this make you feel? What do you think? Share your thoughts.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Anger. It is an emotion that we all experience and have as humans. Anger can be good and bad. We see God angry about unholiness, Jesus angry at those who are too focused on the law and not the heart of humanity. So how do we deal with anger? When is anger toward God and/or The Church destructive? People experience pain and suffering life. Even The Church, with its many flaws, can cause pain in others lives. So, how do we deal with anger towards God/The Church? How can people find peace? Healing? Forgiveness? Peace? What do you think? Share your thoughts
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Does Size Matter?
Ok. I know. Get your mind out of the gutter. What I want to talk about does size of the congregations you attend matter? Is size or numbers what we are after? I personally have seen churches that were large suffer because they were large and churches that were small suffer because they were small. I have seen churches that were large flourish and churches that were small flourish as well. I personally think it is the way we view growth. Many people look at a congregation as healthy if they are growing and are large. I personally think this not not the case. It is not about numbers. Yes, we need to convert. We need to reach the lost. But growth. Really growth and health isn't about numbers it is about spirituality. It is about the key doctrines. Is your church practicing, rooted, grounded in: Faith, Hope, Love. Is your congregation growing spiritually? Are your leaders providing opportunities for spiritual growth? Congregations that are too large can be a hindrance to spiritual growth. A church can become too big and people can become lost. In some churches talents not used. People can become forgotten and neglected. Small churches have a habit of hindering people by holding on to traditions that make no sense and close friends can become too comfortable and exclude outsiders. We need to understand that churches across the country and world vary in size. I, again, personally believe that our focus as The Church shouldn't be on growth of the size of the churches, but spiritual growth: Are needs being met, are talents and gifts being used, are people practicing their faith outside of The Church? What do you think? Share your thoughts.