I had a christian tell me last week that according to christian belief, those afflicted with mental illness go to hell. I felt this was seriously out of line and informed the christian of a mental health clinic not far away that would accept his insurance. Of course he won't go because that would almost certainly damn his soul for all eternity.  Is this really in their bible?

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If during biblical times people knew what mental illness was, wouldn't Jesus and all the prophets have been considered crazy people? Hearing voices from a man in the sky, being born of a virgin and the son of god, etc.? These days they would definitely be locked away in a mental asylum!

Good point.  I think I read once that shamans have schizophrenic tendencies...it's been studied.  Usually a tribe welcomes this person's contributions to the tribe's spirituality but only up to a point--there can only be so many shamans.

These days they would definitely be locked away in a mental asylum?

Angela, they might run for public office...and be elected!

This is all I got.

According to the Bible, you have Spiritual Death (Emotional Agony, Misery= what “Hell” represents) OR Spiritual Life (Happiness, Peace= what “Heaven” represents) right now within you.

1 John 3:14

14We know that we have passed from death (“spiritual death”) to life (“spiritual life”), because we LOVE our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death (“spiritual death” or “unhappiness, agony, etc”).

Also, the Greek word, aionios, that the English word, eternal, replaced doesn't mean "forever," but is an adjective describing the state of a period of time.

Check this link out if you're interested: "Eternal" Doesn't Mean Forever


Finally, tell him that he should do what he feels is "right" for him and not allow the Church or any other humans decide what is "right" for him.

Romans 14: 22

Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

Luke 12: 57

(Jesus speaking) “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?”                                                                                       


@Shay.. What I think is interesting is that all of us here on TA have done exactly what Luke 12:57 has suggested.. So in becoming Atheists we have judged what was right.. 

Well, what is "right" for you may be "wrong" for someone else and vice-versa. For example, homosexuality would be "wrong" or "sinful" for me because I'm naturally heterosexual.  On the contrary, heterosexuality would be "wrong" or "sinful" for someone that is naturally homosexual. The only thing we should judge other people on is how they act and treat others. 

That was my point, that we as individuals have judged what is right for us.. Now, as for homosexuality, not my thing, but I don't see it as my place to condemn someone for that. 

My grandpa thinks mental illness is caused by demons.  Yeah.  He's a chemical engineer, too.  Don't ask how or why, he's West Virginian.  J/K, j/k, fellow WVians!  He has his own demons but I don't think he makes the connection there either.  BIG SIGH.  If you believe it's the cause of demonic possession, I can imagine why you would condemn that person...I've heard other Christians say that sin or weakness allows a demon to take hold of you.  This is some really out there theology.  I don't think many modern day believers, besides literalists and those in backwoodsy-sects, would agree with this way of thinking.  I hope.  I had to wonder if Grandpa thinks I'm possessed when I learned of his beliefs.  I have depression.

Did you know Kairan, that the reason some say "Bless you" when you sneeze, is that in times past, people believed that you were at a weakened point when you sneezed, and that at that instant, demons could fly up your nose and possess you, but invoking "god's" blessing could ward them off.

pax vobiscum,

I had heard that the myth was your soul could be dislodged and come flying out during a sneeze - thus the "Bless you".

Or are both myths "correct" with the people/culture/locale determining which one was believed?

Ward - I think it would be safer to say that both myths are BS, with the people/culture/locale determining which one was believed?

pax vobiscum,




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