Pro-Trump Pastor Offers Advice On Mental Illness: ‘Demonic Attack Can Affect Mental Health’
Pastor Shane Idleman of the Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, offered his take on depression and mental illness, which included a warning about demonic attacks.
A demonic attack can affect mental health. We can’t rule out the possibility of a spiritual attack. Throughout the New Testament, demonic activity caused mental anguish. If a person takes high-powered drugs, they may only increase the problem and could open the door to further demonic activity. Pharmakeía (from where we get our word pharmacy) means to administer drugs. In the Bible, it was often tied to the practice of magic and sorcery. Medication for depression can cause suicidal thoughts. It’s an area we need to be careful in.
How do you know if an attack is demonic? Take it to God in prayer and fast for a day. Read the next point and see if your spiritual diet is playing a role. Ask for wisdom and deliverance if necessary. Have you opened any obvious doors such as palm reading, tarot cards, alcohol, drugs, or Ouija boards? Is there a family history of occult practices? Have those strong in the faith pray for you regularly. Sometimes strongholds have to be pulled down one brick at a time. Saturate your mind in the Word, and pray and worship throughout the day.
Satan also looks for open doors from our past. Just this week I spoke to a young man who struggled with anxiety from a very young age. Medication didn’t fix it; meditating on God’s Word did. He realized that the stronghold took a tight grip when his parents divorced, leaving the influence of a broken home at a young age. Only a renewed mind and prayer against this stronghold delivered him.
Ironically, Idleman was seemingly unaware that he contradicted his opening sentences:
We do a great disservice when we tell those struggling to “just get over it and think positive thoughts” or “read your Bible more.” Although positive thinking (the right kind) is biblical, and it’s crucial to meditate on God’s Word, one cannot simply turn depression, anxiety, and hopelessness on and off like a light switch
Idleman also warned that “being out of God’s will” can contribute to mental illness:
As a pastor, it would be highly inappropriate for me to neglect this point. If besetting sin or being out of God’s will isn’t the number one reason for mental pain, then it’s a close second.