listeners: “What is the most important apologetics question of our time?”
He says, “The Church has an amazing opportunity right now. If the Church can articulate an answer to this question in a biblically powerful way, this could be the key to unlocking a serious revival in our Church.”
Many people in the Church struggle with mental illness either personally or through the connection of a loved one. The number one question that Christian Thinkers Society receives revolves around suicide and mental health.
“I want to equip you and help you minister to people who are hurting,” Johnston says. He says that, 1) Christians should stop the silence surrounding mental illness, 2) we must stop the shame and exclusion, and 3) we need to understand mental illness and be present.
Johnston gives examples of Christians who have struggled with mental illness in history and today. Yet, most pastors rarely, if ever, address mental health. “Mental illness is no one’s fault,” he says. He draws parallels between common physical infirmities and mental ones.
“Do you know the Bible has a lot to say about mental health, right thinking, loving God, and training our mind?” Johnston asks.
Mark 2:17 “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Johnston advises Christians with these thoughts: 1) Every family struggles, 2) make a commitment to love instead of judge, condemn, and misunderstand, 3) build support groups for every age level for addressing mental health disorders, and 4) encourage the mentally ill in our church communities to serve.
Selma asks through AskJJJ.com if it is alright for a Christian to help a person end his or her life. Johnston tells her that God is the controller of all life. “It is terrible to watch people we know and love suffer,” he says. “But when people suffer, you never know how God is using the suffering to win other people to Jesus Christ.”