Saturday, October 31, 2015

Jesus for the Depressive...

Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don't have a choice but I still choose you
-The Civil Wars: Poison & Wine

Many people in America (other parts of the world too but I live here) suffer from depression in some shape or form. I'm not a doctor but I do work in the Mental Health field so I see a lot of things but you don't have to be in that field to see, experience and live many different dark dreams of depression.

Maybe you have experienced it for a short time while grieving the death of a loved one. Maybe you have an aunt, a mother or brother who lives with depression. Maybe you know someone who has sought the ultimate relief from depression and committed suicide. Or maybe, just maybe, you experience it yourself.

Jesus is for the depressive.

I'm not entirely sure but I would wager a guess and say that people suffered from depression during the days Jesus walked the earth. Maybe during Jesus' healing ministry days when he healed the blind, the crippled, the feverishly ill and the demon possessed, maybe he also healed the depressed? Those who cried themselves to sleep, those who never find happiness at parties, with food, with fellowship, with friendship? Those who think of dying so much they never know what it's like to live?

There are those that push memorizing and reading Scripture as a help for depression and I am certainly for that and think it is helpful. But I think we overlook something very simple at times.

Maybe John 5:39-40 will help, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

It is not in the Scriptures that we have help, it is in the author Himself, the Word of Life, the Word made flesh. It is not in much reading of the Bible that we come to help, not necessarily, it is in calling out to the one who writes these words on our hearts that we are soothed and stilled in our soul.

We would do well to pray the simple prayer of the man who didn't know what to say to Jesus when asking for help in Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” It says that he cried out the prayer to Jesus with tears. So, let the depressive cry out with tears to Jesus for help.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why I Wouldn't Vote for Ben Carson

The problem is, many of the people in need of saving are in churches, and at least part of what they need saving from is the idea that God sees the world the same way they do.” 
-Barbara Brown Taylor

I think the conservative element, especially among Evangelicals, are much too enamored with Dr. Ben Carson. While I am most certainly pro-life and hold other conservative values which would, no doubt, line up with many of Carson's positions I have a few things “against him” so to speak.

Carson got into trouble recently speaking about gun control and applying it to the Holocaust, stating, in a nutshell, if the Jews had more guns and had not been under oppressive gun laws implemented by the Hitler regime they could have fought back more effectively. So the Holocaust would have been less likely if there were more guns?

This not only sounds absolutely stupid and slightly crazy to me but many others. Even the ADL, “Anti-Defamation League” has spoken out against this view. Let's be clear, this is all hypothetical that we're speaking of but Carson is no historian and he's treading on a dangerous hypothetical scenario that not only makes him look ignorant but also a little crazy.

I'm not anti-gun, far from it, but giving everybody more guns is not the answer we need now and it's not the answer that was needed years ago. Dr. Carson thinks that by explaining, in hypothetical “what I would do” scenarios he is expanding on what his policy would be but he isn't. He's painting himself into a corner with words which he won't be able to get out of, and we have another example besides the Holocaust quip.

When asked about a recent school shooting Dr. Carson suggested that if he were in that same scenario he would have “rushed the shooter” banking on the fact that the shooter can't shoot all of us, they can only shoot one person at a time. In other words he would fight back. How patently absurd, how callous this is to the victims. It almost shames them, implying that maybe they would be alive if they had just acted differently. He doesn't come right out and say that but that's what is implied.

Who really knows what they would do in any given situation? You can say, “I would do this...” all day long but you really have no idea how you will react when something terrifying happens, when adrenaline kicks in and something tragic is in full swing you don't always pick some noble or brilliant course of action. Many times, I would wager, when people are faced with life or death, they simply try and cling to life as much as possible and don't make bold, saucy moves. This isn't the movies and true heroes are hard to come by in that regard.

So who would I vote for? Strike up a conversation with me and I might tell you...and I won't even give you a hypothetical...