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There seems to be a variety of views about Christian use of medicine. I am not looking for answers related to the extreme position that God heals everybody if you only have faith. This seems far removed from the church in which we live. I have assumed that a Christian might need psychiatric medication under some circumstances. I am asking this more along the lines of a real question that a Christian might have if their doctor recommends such drugs. The answer to the question is intended to help such a person in that situation. Any Biblical guidance?

Should they take it? Is it possible to need these drugs for life?

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closed as off topic by James T, Jon Ericson, wax eagle Aug 23 '12 at 17:04

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Some overlap with:…. But I really don't think this site should substitute for a doctor's advice (the current phrasing of the question is explicitly asking for this). – James T Jun 24 '12 at 2:48
@JamesT - see your point this question is not intended to give medical advise, but how to manage a theological position under such advise. I know many Christians who require this type of Medecine, and unfortunately a desperate person might google for an answer, and there are many, many bad answers out there, I will not accept an answer that would not be accepted by nearly every Christian medical practitioner. Cheers. – Mike Jun 24 '12 at 3:03
For those voting to close, I think this is a good question to have on the site, because there are a lot of Christians out there who hold the extreme position that they should shun medicinal help and instead rely on God. I think it would be good to have a balanced answer, or a few balanced answers to counteract this. It could maybe deal with a bit of rewording, but as it stands, I think it'll be something that will come up in the search engines, as this is pretty much how a "young Christian" would ask it. – David Jun 24 '12 at 16:47
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Medically speaking, it's a matter for your doctor to discuss with you.

From a doctrinal perspective, there is no one answer.

  • Group #1: Some traditions hold that there is no such thing as mental illness at all, and that any depression or other mental illness are the result of sin, or demonic influence.
  • Group #2: Others will regard the opinions of the above group as bunk.
  • Group #3: Yet others will tell you that in some cases, illness (including mental) could be a either/or medical issue or a spiritual one.

It boils down to what your convictions are. Your convictions are yours alone. They may be influenced by your church, or your peers, or your family, but they are yours alone.

At judgment day, you will stand before God, not anybody else. Your convictions, or your preferences are not for anyone else to decide.

All of that said, I have never once found in Scripture the idea that medical treatment is in any way sinful. The arguments I hear (and I hear them regularly) about not taking anti-depressants, or getting your kids vaccinated are based, not on Scripture, but on personal beliefs and the opinions of their own peers.

The idea that illness is a punishment for sin is one of the oldest pieces of bad advice in the book. (See the book of Job.)

I have seen news stories about people who have died refusing medical treatment and instead, depending on faith.

I happen to fall into group #3 above, with strong leanings toward #2.

I do believe we over-medicate our kids, and use drugs to make things easier on the parents in some cases, but overall, I also believe that God gave us medical knowledge, as well as medicine, because He intends us to use it.

Again, it's going to boil down to your choice. General advice I'd give to anyone:

  • Pray about it
  • Educate yourself.
  • Ask your doctor questions
  • Do your best to make an informed decision, one that takes your beliefs, convictions, and personal situation and weighs the options.

Suggested reading:

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Like your objective framework. I think there are only two mistakes others make on this issue. One, claim people do not need medicine their doctors prescribe (that is a very crule non-biblical position.) Two, to claim a believer can't hope and pray that God would help them ocevrcome a dependancy on that medicince (this it to remove faith and prayer). Unfortunatly sometimes, for some people, life-long treatments is required for all sorts of illness. God loves them and may they may be very strong Christians, no matter what others think. Good medicine comes from God so does faith. – Mike Jun 24 '12 at 4:57

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