Depression - Not a Sickness, Not a Sin? | World Life
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Depression – Not a Sickness, Not a Sin?

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Some of you know that World Life leadership has had the benefit and blessing of learning from Vancouver Bible Institute (https://www.vancouverbible.com)  what is called “biblical counseling”.   Paraphrased slightly from the VBI website, Biblical counseling is targeted discipleship in a problem area of a person’s life for a season. Regarding the importance of Scripture in this counseling it must be properly interpreted and properly applied.

We have been involved with and partnering with VBI in various courses and seminars over the last five or six years and we cannot recommend this place of training enough.  Warren Lamb, former marine force recon warrior, martial artist, and pastor is the lead instructor and president of VBI.  Warren is also highly trained and accredited in hermeneutics, theology, church history, and has been counseling for decades. Do not let Warren’s resume intimidate you however like he is going to run classes like a marine drill sergeant. Warren and the other VBI instructors have a teaching approach that makes the course work accessible to all who are willing to put in some effort and learn.  The training will make you better able to speak the truth in love to both believers in Christ and non-believers.  But personally (for me Don), it has been a journey of applying the concepts to my own life and the areas of my walk with Christ that need work.

I would like to start a series of short posts explaining more our experience with VBI, biblical counseling, and why we believe it fits in well with the mission of World Life.

Last Saturday we had a special seminar titled “Depression: Not a sickness, not a sin”.  The presentation was put on by biblical counselor, author, and speaker Dr. Daniel Berger.

I will be sharing in subsequent posts more about this amazing lecture, but let me first share one of the basic take-aways for me:  Throughout the bible, we see a repeated theme that the normal human condition is that of sorrow, guilt and hopelessness.  Some of you may immediately recognize that these are the key conditions that will get one clinically diagnosed as suffering from depression.

This is interesting because there is a world view that is monolithically adopted by the mainstream psychology and psychiatry industry that if you suffer from these conditions you are abnormal and suffering from a sickness that only they can help you with.

As biblical counselors we disagree that this is abnormal. However we certainly agree that these feelings and conditions are real and must be dealt with.  But how?  Well the bible talks at length about the answer to this universal human problem. More on that in the next post….  But for now, know that the bible does not call these symptoms of “depression” a sin in and of themselves. Nor does it call them a sickness like catching a cold or flu. To be continued…

AUTHOR: Don Cooper
dcooper@worldlife.com
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