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?
You're not going to find anything in the Bible about the consequences of mental illness since it wouldn't be for 1,800 years that people would question the received wisdom that what we now call mental illness was the result of demon possession.
Having said that, the Bible only says that people that sin and do not repent and people who do not accept Jesus (by faith or by faith and works, depending on which verses you're reading) are going to hell. There are no provisions for anyone that is what we would now call mentally ill such that they would entitled to a get out of jail hell free card.
While Bible does not explicitly mention "mental illness" - frankly that concept was foreign to the authors - a fundamental premise of Christianity is that belief is required to be saved.
John3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
If the above means that acceptance of Christ's divinity is needed to be saved, what happens to a schizophrenic who believes he's Vishnu (thus rejecting Christ)? Or, what if he believes in Christ because of delusion? Is such a person freely accepting Christ ("born of the Spirit")? Or, what if he is so retarded as to preclude understanding the concept Christ?
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
3:18 and many other passages are absolute, you believe or burn.
This single point invalidates Christianity.
You forget that mental illnesses are really demonic possession!
I was going to mention something like this. It's a common problem among idealists (of various kinds, including religionists) that there is such a thing as perfection that can be reached if only one knows how to put one's mind to it. Scientology teaches this.
So even mental illness is something they feel can and should be overcome with just faith in the dogma and mind power. This is also how Scientology is able to ban and demonize all psychotropic drug treatments, and the entire psychiatric profession. (Recall Tom Cruise's rant against psychiatry.)
The times I heard that preached the justification they gave for this belief is mental illness is a manifestation of sin in one's life and that a) they don't want to let go of that sin and/or b) don't have enough faith do so. It isn't in the bible, so they took fractions of verses here and there (because they couldn't find whole verses), out of context of the rest of the sentences and used it to justify the point. You can justify anything and everything with the bible by doing that. But you could justify any atrocity or asshole move with a Brothers Grim fairy tale book.
The bible does not acknowledge mental illness, only demon possession and the cure for that of course is to burn the witch
The mentally ill first join a church, where they learn about hell and start fearing they will go there. Soon, unable to bear that fear by themselves, they project it on others.
Well, we all know that demon possession is the cause of mental illness.
That is why I rent my demons. :)
RE: "Of course he won't go because that would almost certainly damn his soul for all eternity." Much better to grab an AK-47 and go postal, thereby guaranteeing his reservation in ye olde hotspot.
I recall nothing in the Bible that says anything to that effect. In fact, Hell is a late invention - there is nothing about an afterlife in the early parts of the Old Testament. But I'd be willing to bet that some priest sat down and thought to himself, "Where's the incentive to live by our rules, if everyone dies anyway? Hey, here's an idea! What if there was an afterlife and sinners got punished forever?! Yeah, that'd do it!"
I don't remember anything about mental people going to hell in the bible... back then, they probably thought crazies where possessed by demons. Meh, I think mental people are safe for now. Until I die, hell is closed for renovations.