1. The suicide rate among 18-19 year-old increased 56% in years 2008-2017
2, In the same time span, anxiety and hopelessness has increased among those 18-25 year old, a 71% increase!
3. Depression among 20-21 year old doubled between 2009-2017, and among 16-17 year old grew 69%!
Every fifteen minutes someone in the US takes their own life. There are 35,000 suicides in the US every year.
Sadly among Christians the percentages are the same!
There are many factors that professionals attribute to depression, anxiety, and suicide.
But, for the purpose of this particular Blog entry, I am discussing possible theological ideas that may lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide in the Church.
What Gospel or Good News have you heard?
The one where if you don’t believe in Jesus, who loves you so much, but, and don’t ‘get saved’ per instructions of the preacher , the same Jesus will send you to a place called Hell where you will be tortured, to His delight—for eternity?
Or the one where you ‘get save’ per the instruction of the preacher but, if you slip up, i.e. don’t live in a manner that he deems fit, you will still get sent to Hell, and yes, to be tortured for eternity.
Or are you one of the pre-destined chosen? In which case, your good—but—how do you really know?
Or the one that you better prove you are one of the saints for your are known by your ‘fruit’—welcome to the hamster’s wheel of performance Christianity.
Or the guilt and shame Gospel, wherein the preacher describes God as deciding to have mercy, despite the fact that you certainly don’t deserve Him, but He will find room for you in His heart—somehow.
These are sampling of some of the Gospel’s out there, many developed over centuries.
I remember reading one pastor who was leaving the ministry because he confessed to having purposely manipulated people by threatening them with hell fire every Sunday so that they would—-yep—keep coming to his church and giving $$$$.
You see, the god of these theology’s is constructed by the imaginations of men.
The real Creator God is so utterly Holy—that is, so beyond our comprehension, that He can accomplish—anything! Even fixing His broken creation—us!
The real Gospel that Paul preached was so wonderful most people could not accept it because, well, it exposed their vain, futile attempts to somehow get back in the Garden, by jumping the fence! It ain’t gonna happen!
These man made theologies actually lead to depression, anxiety, and yes, a hopelessness that can result in suicide.
The Real Good News proclaims Who God really is in the face of Jesus Christ! The real Gospel proclaims that His Father loves us and planned before creation to ‘save us’ from our rebellion, brokenness and shame. How? We are included in Jesus’ relationship with His Father. That is His will. When a person says yes to Who they already are, Who God says they were created to be, the Holy Spirit comes and fills that person with the light that Verifies the Truth.
You are an Image Bearer! A Wonder! Created in His image and Likeness! When you behold Jesus, you are beholding who you really are!
There is no room for depression, anxiety, and suicide when this light fills you heart and soul! You are instead living in acceptance, assurance, inclusion, nobility, confidence, courage—-Love!
So, snuggle up to your heavenly Father, He has made a living divine highway for you to come and enjoy being who He created you to be!