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Fundamentalism As A Failure Of Society


dusktilldawn
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In my local community there's a rapidly growing fundamentalist evangelical church which seems to have all the undesirable features I'm sure everyone here is familiar with. Here in the UK these groups are somewhat outside the mainstream, certainly compared to their ubiquity in parts of the US.

 

Recently I met someone I hadn't seen in a while - a very vulnerable guy who's been mixed up and suffering all his life. He seemed better and happier than I've ever seen him and the reason was that he'd joined this church. Where before he might shut himself away for weeks on end without meaningful social contact, now people were inviting him into their homes and he was spending a few days a week helping out other members of the congregation with odd jobs. The change in him was astonishing.Though it sticks in my throat to say it, it really seems to be the best thing that's ever happened to him.

 

I worry because I know that on at least one other occasion people in this church have told people with mental health problems that they should trust God instead of taking their medication and publicly attempted to cast demons out of them. But can I tell this guy he shouldn't be involved? What are his alternative options?

 

What sad reflection on society that vulnerable people have to get involved in this kind of madness just to get a little human kindness.

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Dusk,

 

By fundamentalist do you mean a sect which would be against conventional medical practice? Otherwise, maybe the comradeship will be a blessing. I also have questions about belonging to sects that are against vaccinations, transfusions, organ transplant, etc. But, just a normal evangelical, proselytizing sect shouldn't be a threat.

 

Ron

Edited by Vridar
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Dusk,

By fundamentalist do you mean a sect which would be against conventional medical practice? Otherwise, maybe the comradeship will be a blessing.

Ron

 

This is the right question, I think, for evaluating his situation. A small group of fundamentalists, who had a social connection with an acquaintance, laid hands on him for healing. This triggered another schizophrenic episode and commitment for about 4 weeks.

 

If only they had just continued being friends providing structure and social contact.

 

Not all acts of kindness lead to wholeness.

 

Dutch

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I worry because I know that on at least one other occasion people in this church have told people with mental health problems that they should trust God instead of taking their medication and publicly attempted to cast demons out of them. But can I tell this guy he shouldn't be involved? What are his alternative options?

 

What sad reflection on society that vulnerable people have to get involved in this kind of madness just to get a little human kindness.

 

It seems to me best not to second guess based on an occasion in the past and if he is a friend but you suspect it might be so, ask him about it to remove any doubt. If that is what they are advising him , ask him what he thinks about it. Perhaps he will share and ask your advice? If not, perhaps it is best to allow him to follow his own path and learn for himself? I believe there is a spirit wiser than ourselves that is part of us all.

 

Joseph

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Thanks guys. I don't intend to try to dissuade him - this church probably won't do him serious harm, although they might. As Joseph says, it's his choice either way.

 

What struck me was that it's sad that nobody except this one church have offered him this opportunity to feel welcome and valued. We aren't short of churches around here, nor of human beings for that matter. That's why I came to think of the rapid expansion of this new church as a sign of a deeper social failing - a failing on my part as much as anyone else's.

 

It also challenged my own prejudices against Christians of this type - just now they're the ones walking the walk as well as talking the talk. I guess Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels would have spent time with this guy, but then Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels would probably have been the first to try casting demons out of him. Go figure.

Edited by dusktilldawn
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