I run a website for Christians with clinical depression. Anyone who's has firsthand experience of depression knows it's not related to what someone experiences when they say "Oh I'm so depressed" anymore than an ice cube is related to Siberia. I get a fair amount of feedback on the site, and periodically one turns up like this from today (spelling mistakes corrected):
"If this were my site, I would suggest 1st to get your fat lazy butt into the Word of God!!!!! Our feelings LIE to us according to the Bible. They can't be trusted. So should we really analyze our feelings first? NO! We should disregard them and believe the promises of the Bible.
We need protection from Satan's attacks and the only protection we have is God's Word. Read it daily! Put on your armour daily! Sing songs about God, proclaim His promises out loud when attacks come on. Cling to Jesus!!!!!
Any other advice is human advice and the Bible says human knowledge is junk and useless.
Just thought I'd let you in on that one.
Love and God bless, [name deleted]"
Wow, I never knew it was so easy to get rid of a medical condition I've had since childhood!!! All I have to do is read the Bible, apparently I've never read the thing before. This must be why people with depression, like, flock to churches and get healed, like, all the time! And I never knew!!! I would never have thought to try that a thousand times already!!! Everything I wrote there is just junk and useless!!! Gee, thanks, God bless you too.
If I were God, I would zing this person with severe clinical depression for at least 6 months, and watch them try and religicise their way out of it. Watch them try to happy-happy-joy-joy their way back to normality when your emotions have all frozen over. Watch them cut their skin just to check they're still alive, because dead people don't bleed and it feels like you're long dead. Watch any semblance of faith shrivel until all you have to hold onto is cold hard facts and stubbornness. Watch myself doing all that and more, for the last seven years.
It's a good thing I'm not God.
This kind of attitude from Christians goes a long way towards converting Christians with clinical depression into hardened, cynical atheists. It's a big reason why I spent well over a year outside church, trying to preserve what little faith I had left. If I'd stayed in church then, I wouldn't be in one now. This attitude is why I run the site, and why the most popular section is called Things People Say. It bugs me to see candyfloss Christians pronounce judgement on things they know nothing about, mindlessly condemning people who've been condemned far too much already. I'm just as bad, judging this person as shallow and insensitive, but I hate seeing people get hurt by that attitude, and I've spent a lot of time helping clean up the damage it does in people's lives.