Is Christianity a form of mental disorder?

by John Doe 63 Replies latest jw friends

  • PSacramento


    Its not whether a person does good works that makes him a Christian, God gift of Grace tells us thet we don't need to do these good works for our salvation, we do them, as christian, for the simple reason that we love our fellow man and that doing good for goodness sake is the reason to do good, there is no notion of recompense ( or at least their shouldn't be) other than that nice feeling we all get when we help someone.

    I venture to speculate that someone, like the child molester you mention, that does good, like feed and shelter th homesless, may have ulterior motives that are less than "christian".

  • AllTimeJeff
    For every "good" thing you can find about Jesus there are nasty and absurd things that could be found about him which brings to question his sanity.
    As far as all the good works some Christians perform that's fine with me but don't tell me that other delusional Christians, the "nutters", are an isolated tiny minority. Those who spout off fox news and evangelical programing delusions are a substantial minority. They may be outnumbered by moderates and liberal Christians, who ignore their Bibles, but that does not make us safe.

    villabolo, I don't disagree with this, except for a small divergence on some conclusions.

    The above thoughts you addressed I first came across in "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris. I think this is a productive line of conversation, insofar as being left uncheked, extremists will set their agenda and run with it. That can't be allowed to happen. This premise is that moderate or even liberal believers by allowing the crazies and fundies to set the agenda creates opportunities for extremists of all religions to do bad things. (terrorism, abortion clinic attacks, hate crimes on GLBT people)

    In principle, he is correct. Moderates do need to step up and silence the extremists.

    But his arguments are not pragmatic. At the very worst, he is ahead of his time. (he does speak of the value of spirituality towards the end of that book.., although few mention this about the book) Faith will always be around. In fact, I predict that the essential meaning of faith will evolve as traditional organized religions compete with newer, more viable ways of expressing spirituality and explaining our humanity. (such as morals, goodness, etc)

    I use to believe most of what Harris said at first. Since that time I can't put aside the value of proper faith and spirituality for people, even if I disagree with what some might call their "imaginary" god(s).

    As far as Jesus and the gospels are concerned, I personally believe that assigning them too much literal value (or taking them solely at face value) does no one any good.

    I believe that a great man named Jesus walked the earth. I don't discount that the overall picture of the man and his teachings were about love, tolerance, acceptance, and a disdain for traditions that put dogma above people. I always reserve the right to use my brain and filter out what doesn't seem to fit.

    In the case of Jesus talking of destruction, well, I don't take that, or a lot of other things attributed to Jesus literally. Do I think the man had bad days and complained about, and perhaps these statements were imbellished and are now legend?


  • PSacramento


    Your statements on Jesus are in many ways, an echo of my views also.

    If ther eis one thing that seems to be "out of whack" about his teachings is the "cruel Jesus" but if we look closely we see that at times the "cruel" Jesus was either testing the faith of his followers, showing someone their arrogance, saying a parable for the understanding of the people he was dealing with or sometimes tallking out of frustration, he was, afterall, quite human in that regard.

    Certainly we have a choice of what to focus on in regards to Jesus and Christianity, we can focus on the positive ( the vast majority) or the negative or take both into account to get a all around picture, either way when we fall into the "pit" of extremissim we are being no better than the extremissits we despise.

    The world tends to be a shade of gray.

  • mouthy

    At least in the majority of Christians; I'm sure there are a few loonies.

    RAISES HAND!!! GUILTY...But Darling JDoe!!! It takes one to know one.
    Welcome to the club of loonie's

  • Spook

    The psychiatric community does not define a belief as indicating pathology when it exists within a social support group - this includes things like Santa Claus or even Cult beliefs.

    Extreme religiosity is, however, highly correlated with a history of trauma, family disfunction and various mental disorders.

    Additionally, those who are drawn to cults have other common character issues.

    Those who bounce from extreme groups have other problems.

    If you converted to JW's as an adult, get some talk therapy and deal with why you were motivated to join.

    Not all who believe they have a relationship with Jesus are crazy. Those who believe this is active and report specific conversations ARE. This kind of talk should not be trusted or encouraged by their less-intense friends and fellow believers.

  • villabolo

    ATJ, I fully agree that it is not the religous instinct that is at fault. I do believe, forgive the bluntness, that Biblical based religion is spiritual poison. My version of an alternative religion would be a mixture of Humanism and Pantheism providing us with a focus on ourselves and the nature we are a part of. Unfortunately this is not likely to happen unless there happens to be a social collapse world wide and a charismatic leader(s) of such a faith.

    As far as Moderate Christians putting the radicals in check I think that there's even less of a chance that this will happen. From what I've heard extremist Christians have infiltrated our Airforce with intent of pushing their Theocratic agenda upon those they supervise. I realize that it takes more than that to take over a nation but I've seen videos of Pastors promulgating the infiltration of Government at all levels.

    As far as Jesus inappropriate anger is concerned his saying that those who were skeptical of him would find it more difficult in the Resurrection (of judgment) than men who wanted to bugger angels, well that sends a message that can be taken literally. Taking it metaphorically does not absolve Jesus of the vitriol he was spouting. Should they be parables, which they were not, they would still be spiritually inane. I realize that there are liberal and moderate Christians that simply choose not to believe that Jesus said that along with a few other quotations. Unfortunately we have to base what Jesus likely said or didn't say on more scholastic rules and not mere emotion.

    In any case the point I will make is that the foundation of Christendom, the New Testament, is seriously flawed as a book of love and humanism and the scriptures that liberal Christians and Moderates avoid or rationalize are alive and well in the psykhes of Fundamentalists who want to take those scriptures serious. What better recipe for intolerance than, "No one comes to the Father ecept through me" (John 14:6)? That leaves 5 billion damned.

    Bottom line, Judeo/Christian/Islamic religions are evil and insane embellished with good. The world needs to transcend these religions.


  • villabolo

    PSacramento: "That fig tree incident is one of the funniest things I have read, everytime I read it I can't help but laugh !!"

    I'm glad to have tickled your funny bone.


  • caliber

    The psychiatric community does not define a belief as indicating pathology when it exists within a social support group - this includes things like Santa Claus or even Cult beliefs

    Further thought connected to idea that belief does not indicate pathology.

    An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. While illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people. The term illusion refers to a specific form of sensory distortion. Unlike a hallucination, which is a distortion in the absence of a stimulus, an illusion describes a misinterpretation of a true sensation.

    A delusion, in everyday language, is a fixed belief that is either false, fanciful, or derived from deception. Psychiatry defines the term more specifically as a belief that is pathological (the result of an illness or illness process). As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information,perception, illusion, or other effects of perception (Wikipedia )

    Christianity a form of mental disorder ....... this statement could be at most an illusion but not a delusion .....misinterpretation !

  • csp2033


    Thanks for hitting the nail on the head. A few years ago we bought a house that was NOT my first choice. WHY? Because it was "close to the HALL" !!!!

    Like you I diligently prayed, & really thought I was being heard. I worked for hours late into MANY MANY nights making almost 90 new territory cards. I worked late into MANY nights trying SO hard to do the "ACCOUNTS" just the right way..uugghh. And then getting yelled at during the accts audit because I used my computer instead of doing it by hand ! uugghhhh

    I once put a sticker of a radio station on my car's back window. One of the elders asked me why I didn't put Jehovah's name on my back window instead of a radio station. He insinuated I was ashamed to be a JW. Now I have 3 stickers on my back window & maybe he was right !


  • villabolo

    Caliber, I realize that the following is not strictly about Christianity per se but nontheless it seems that certain Christians, in this nation, make up a very large proportion of those who believe the following.

    Let us say that--You believe that the President was born in Kenya; was smuggled into this nation so that when he grows up he can kill your useless granny; put your defective baby through the shredder; create a paramilitary force out of brainwashed school children; gather up all opponents of his into concentration camps; and last but not least, change the weather so he could justify some vaguely stated connection between global warming and Socialism.

    Now where does this fall on the spectrum of illusion--->delusion? I believe that the medical definitions are somewhat incomplete due perhaps to a fear of offending a large portion of our population.


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