Attack! Charge! Retreat! Occupy, I Surrender! These are all military options that armies have used since time began. During the American Civil War the civilian population of Vicksburg and the Tolliver family I write about, were caught between the cross purposes of two opposing military forces. Their personal options and resources drained away and only fear of the unknown remained.
As I did research for this novel it became so clear, in so many ways, that things never change. Before you object: Yes, I know that slavery was abolished and voting and states rights underwent a foundational, constitutional shift. That is not the change, or lack thereof, to which I refer.
No matter what time period folks live in, we all at some time, feel captive to the whims of government, parents, employers, the IRS. The demands of family, frailty of health, hopes deferred and dreams derailed can swamp us. Overwhelming circumstances and hopelessness can come anytime. Depression, fear and anxiety are all epedimic in our society today.
I recently read an alarming statistic reported in the Wall Street Journal that ” more than 1 in 5 adults in America are taking at least one psychiatic drug such as antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications” and the numbers are rising.( this statistic does not include those who self-medicate with drugs and /or alcohol.)
I am not in any way denegrating the actual, physical symptoms and paralysis of mental health issues, anxiety, and depressive disorders and the tragic spiral of effects that those maladies bring. However, fear, anxiety and depression and other mental health issues ( their labels are legion) must be recognized also as a serious spiritual attack (which I discussed in an earlier post )to be dealt with boldly and with authority.
I am in no way qualified to discuss the long-term costs, and effects of extended mental health disorders on the patients nor the effects of taking the associated medication for years on end. ( Without examining motives, I will say that a lot of people are making some serious money if this many people are seeking treatment) I will, however, take on the spiritual ramifications.
According to the reference cited above, over 20 percent of the people we know, that we pass on the road,that we live with, or work with are affected seriously enough to seek medical treatment and take medication on a regular basis. That’s a whole lot of people…. and who benefits? Think about it. Satan wants your mind. He wants you confused and useless and fearful. He wants to co-opt your destiny and that of your children and either keep you from hearing, receiving and believing the saving Word of God or keep those with the Gospel of Jesus so hampered, disfunctional and confused that they can’t share it with others. Satan hasn’t had an original thought in a long time. We mustn’t think that because we are Christians that we are immune from his raggedy plan of chaos and destruction. We are bearers of the Light and as such we are viewed as enemy combatants in satan’s view.
The Church must step up to the plate and begin to recognize that we do not operate in a philosphical vacuum. Our purpose has never been to dress up once a week and hold down a pew for an hour, passively listening to a sermon. As Ambassadors of Christ we are to do exactly what He did. While Jesus was meandering around the countryside he was teaching and preaching and at the same time healing folks and regularly delivering them from bondage.
Christianity is an ACTION word. This requires violent Kingdom action as stated in Matt 11:12. Healing the broken-hearted, breaking bondage and delivering people in the name of Jesus should be our stock- in- trade. To a generation which sees no real expression of love, power or viability of the modern day, traditional church : this type of Power Love action certainly gets the attention of not only the person suddenly delivered but everyone that their life touches and increases faith all around.
The time is past to just sit around and postulate about this sad state of affairs, or profer a mewling little prayer for a ” healing touch” if it’s ” God’s will”. It is NEVER God’s will for us to sit by and watch our loved ones be held in mental bondage to fear and anxiety. 2 Tim 1:7, Acts 2:38.
Unlike the doomed Confederate forces of the 19th Century,we must not Retreat! We must not Surrender! (2 Corinthians 4:8) The South may never rise again… but the Church had better rise up and get about the Father’s business. He left us His business plan and we need to re-read it and start applying it. NOW!
He is the Prince of Peace !( Isaiah 9:6) Where Jesus reigns there is no fear and anxiety ( 1 John 4:18) Where Jesus reigns there is no darkness and depression ( Romans 12:12, 1 John 1:5) Where Jesus reigns there is no mental confusion (John 8:12, 1 Cor 14:33 John 16:13)
* The article referenced above appeared in the Nov. 16, 2011 Wall Street Journal in an article by Shirley S. Wang. The report cited can be read in full at: apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s19032en/s19032en.pdf