Is Psychological ill-health a spiritual issue or natural illness?


Psychological illness is one discourse that we as Christians need to discuss with enormous caution, understanding and humility. More so, due to the weight of the consequences that could ensue, for those struggling under the burden and complexity of the issue. 

The question is a classic textbook example of the “either-or” fallacy and we would do well to spot, at the very start. 

Even some of the Early Church Fathers (2nd Century Christianity), and centuries later some puritans (infamous Salem witch-hunts) attributed Psychological illness, solely to spiritual (demonic) causes! Ghastly and costly lessons on (epistemic and theological) humility. 

Today, we ought to know better. That there are empirically proven natural causes too, for Psychological illnesses. 

In the Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis’ wisdom is so delightfully helpful, he says;

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

Modern Christians, would do well to strike a balance, in the Psychological illness discourse and understand that they should be wary of an ‘either-or’ trap again as this involves lives that compel holistic understanding and cry for holistic help and healing.

You are currently viewing Is Psychological ill-health a spiritual issue or natural illness?

Leave a Reply