Thursday, August 25, 2016

MENDENHALL: "Jesus Is My Prozak"

Tilda does not often wander into the minefield that is religion, but today she was sufficiently ticked off to do so.
On Aug. 25 Bethany Presbyterian Church in Mendenhall posted a sign, "Jesus Is My Prozak," in front of its Kennett Pike building.

Not only is that slogan morally offensive and theologically dubious, it's also misspelled (it's "Prozac"). Depression results from a problem with brain chemistry, not a lack of faith in Jesus Christ. Would they say "Jesus Is My Insulin" or "Jesus Is My Chemotherapy"? I don't think so.
All I could think of was how a person suffering from depression, already feeling miserable, exhausted, useless and guilty, would react upon seeing such an insensitive message. The church is the last place that should be perpetuating the myth that depression is some kind of a personal failing rather than a medical illness.
I was angry enough to send an email to the pastor, the Rev. Ann Dickey, and she responded promptly. Very much to her credit, she fully understood my concerns about equating Jesus Christ to an antidepressant and promised the sign, which had been put up by a church member, would be taken down immediately. She also assured me that future slogans would be vetted more carefully, apologized to those who were offended, and asked for my forgiveness.
I was extremely impressed by Rev. Ann's graceful, intelligent and honest response to this situation, and perhaps that's the lesson we all should take from this unfortunate episode.



    When it comes to quoting the Bible versus quoting men who do you trust?

    Max Lucado Quote:

    3) “What of the ones who die before they have a chance? What if I entrust my soul to Christ and before I can tell anyone or arrange to be baptized, a swarm of killer bees attacks me and I die?”
    The answer to this question is found in the character of God. Would a God of love reject an honest heart? No way. Would a God of mercy and kindness condemn any seeking soul? Absolutely not. Having called you and died for you would he cast you away because of a curious sequence of events? Inconceivable. Is it possible for an unbaptized believer to be saved? Yes, definitely. Should every believer be baptized? Yes, definitely.

    Jesus Quote:

    Mark 16:16 He who believes and has been baptized shall be saved...(NASB)

    Bible Quote:

    Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.(NASB)

    Ananias Quote: Acts 22:12-16.....16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.! (NASB)

    NOTE: Saul believed three days prior to his baptism. Why was he still in his sins? Because Jesus said "He who believes and has been baptized shall be saved."

    The opinions of men are opinions, but they do not void the word of God.


    1. Thank you, Steve. What an admirable facility you have with Bible quotes!

  2. So.... you are the "speech police"? I guess you must be really proud that you bullied that pastor into caving into your demands. Maybe you are unaware of this. So I will enlighten you. There is no "right to not be offended". Taking offense is a choice. All you did was blame someone else for your "taking offense". And if you were to get off your high horse for a second and really understand the message, you would see that it was just an attention getting way of saying that Jesus can make you feel better. I guess you don't understand metaphor either.

    1. You and I actually agree on quite a lot, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous: (1) yes, I have a robust sense of self-agency; (2) the slogan was definitely attention getting; and (3) it was certainly my own choice to take action on what I saw as a problem. But my writing an email to the pastor was not bullying -- I've never bullied anyone in my life and I would certainly not start with a woman whose faith is so deep that she has devoted her life to the ministry. Also, you and I both obviously appreciate the power of metaphor; where we differ is whether this one was apt.