HOW THE THOUGHT OF FAITH IN GOD CAN DRAG YOU INTO DEPRESSION

As God and most of the stuff about him is unknown and unknowable it follows that as the unknown can trigger depression that it could  be down to your spiritual beliefs whether they are explicit or there in spirit.  If you are conditioned to believe that a strong trust in God is the way to happiness that belief if unsuitable for you or if you fail to trust enough will do you harm.  And even more so when you think that God should be all that really matters. What if you at some level think you need depression from God? 

 

The person who feels terrible at the thought that God's love does him no good is actually realistic.

Love is willing the wellbeing of another. God can will it for us but it does not follow that he will give us what is best for us. Evil exists so it follows that I might have to suffer the uttermost agony forever for some purpose. God is not a physical entity so he has no feelings for us. Surely as feelings are of great importance to us we want a God who has feelings for us? If God becomes a man so that he can feel love for us that still suggests that in himself he does not have feelings. If he had feelings he would need to become man to have them. The God who may love us but has no feelings to us will only make us suffer. Its not natural for us to be happy with such a God. Its emotional atheism.

God's willing our wellbeing can be useless for you now. It can also be useless for you now and forever. He permits evil to happen and has ways of dealing with it that look strange to us the ants that we are. He might never be able to act on his love for us.

Christians are expected to appreciate the mere fact that God loves them whether he can act on it or not.

Knowing that will only make depression far worse.

If you are atheist, you don't have to struggle with your perception that God's love is useless for you. You merely accept that the universe does not care if you live or die.

Is the Christian who follows a God who has less emotion than a boulder really any better off than the atheist who accepts that the universe does not have any concern for her?

A worldview in which one thinks the following is horrendous,

there is a state of everlasting torment.

there is a God who manipulates us by using our suffering to do good.

there is a God demands that we believe he loves us though a being that uses our suffering to do good is a manipulator and not one who loves us.

It would follow that though a mildly depressed person may be a depressive realist, the severely depressed person may be a depressive realist too if he really accepts such a worldview. The mildly depressed will be realistic about life and the world. The severely depressed has worse than them to think about. The worse the things you have to be realistic about then the worst the depression you will need to have if it helps you be realistic.

It follows that severe depression is a blessing if it is true that surrender to God is all that matters in life. And Jesus said we must love God as Lord totally - in other words, submit lovingly and totally.

 

We refuse to suggest such a thing.  We side with people not some idea about God.

 


BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1985
A Common Faith, John Dewey, Yale University Press, Connecticut, 1968
A Primer of Necessary Belief, Dawson Jackson ,Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1957
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, M H Gill and Son Ltd, Dublin, 1954
Faith and Ambiguity, Stewart R Sutherland, SCM Press, London, 1984
God and Philosophy, Antony Flew, Hutchinson, London, 1966
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
On Being a Christian, Hans Kung, Collins/Fount Paperbacks, Glasgow, 1978
Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, 1996
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
Reason and Religion, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
The Balance of Truth, EI Watkin, Hollis & Carter, London, 1943
The Case Against Christ, John Young, Falcon Books, London, 1971
The End of Faith, Religion, Terror And The Future Of Reason, Sam Harris, Free Press, London, 2005
The Faith of a Subaltern, Alec de Candole, Cambridge University Press, 1919
The Fundamental Questions of Philosophy, A.C. Ewing, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1985
The Future of Belief Debate, Ed Gregory Baum, Herder and Herder, New York, 1967
The Student’s Catholic Doctrine, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
Unblind Faith, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982
What is Christianity? Very Rev W Moran DD, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, Dublin, 1940
What is Faith? Anthony Kenny, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992