Here is an example of a blog post with a title designed to piss you off. It is meant to immediately put you on edge because it is inflammatory. It is a half truth architected in a manner to upset people who are familiar with the story of the well known American Hero, Chris Kyle. Most people know that Chris Kyle was actually shot and killed by a fellow soldier whom he was trying to help cope with PTSD.
If I wanted to, I could probably make an argument that Chris Kyle’s lifestyle of being a warrior as well as his choice to attempt to help a friend cope with PTSD lead to his murder. However, the point of such an argument would be only to make people angry because we all know that Chris Kyle didn’t want to die that way.
I am not going to make that argument.
That would be dumb.
That would be mean.
“Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice”
That’s the title of a recent blog post from Matt Walsh. I usually enjoy his posts. Many of them are necessary truths.
But this one crossed a line.
The title in of itself is meant to bring people to his post with an attitude of being upset. Of course, we all know that suicide does require a choice. Robin hanged himself. The act he committed was done by him. This is obvious. You know what else is obvious?
He did not suffer by choice. He did not decide to suffer. One does not decide to get the flu or cancer. Suffering from depression is not a choice. It is a chemical imbalance. Most people know this fact. Most people are sensitive to this fact. Most people have compassion for those who suffer.
The title of Matt Walsh’s blog post lacks compassion. It is meant to incite. It is meant to make people upset. It is probably meant to get hits on his blog. Who knows.
The content of his post contains some truths and perhaps even an attempt at compassion. Then Matt tries to pawn depression off on spiritual matters. Again, this is a half truth.
Can spiritual matters lead to depression? Yes.
Is all depression spiritual? Absolutely not.
In general, Christians tend to give the spiritual realm too much credit. I once saw someone who was upset their blender wasn’t working and blamed its lack of operation on an evil spirit.
There is not an evil spirit in your blender.
Many years ago I played drums for a church in Jacksonville, FL. During one service it was obvious that the congregation was not singing along or participating in worship. Afterwards, the worship leader blamed it on an evil spirit throughout the room. It was more likely due to the fact that the projector had stopped working and the congregation didn’t have the lyrics to sing a long. But, it was much easier to blame an evil spirit than get a new projector.
My point is that pawning off one’s problems to strictly a spiritual matter is irresponsible and can be hurtful. Matt Walsh starts his post with an inflammatory title meant to incite anger. He then concludes his post by saying that depression is not just clinical — it’s also spiritual. This isn’t true. This borders on Scientology. This is dangerous. This is hurtful. God gave us brains. We should use them.
People can be right with God and also be clinically depressed. At the end of the day, Matt was trying to get people riled up. It worked.
It was not helpful. It was not good.