the text book i have called modern psychopathologies has an extensive look on the early church and their framework on approaching abnormal psychology in their times. i love this. this is something i know can help, not just me but the church in general. "christ and his apostles laid the foundation for a church committed to the care of each member and instructed believers to make this a central aspect of life within the body of christ." but since scripture doesn't carry the language of contemporary psychopathology better understanding through teachings of the early church and the scriptures we can, as believers, better understand, and adequately care for those who are suffering from mental disorders. i truly believe humanity now is more corrupt than it has ever been. could this then imply that if we look back to early teachings we might find a purer and less diluted teaching on addressing disorders? i am speaking on a church perspective solely, for the care of others. i believe in the early literature of abnormal psych we will find answers to questions we have right now. one is the relevancy of the church today. this question has been on my mind the last few weeks. how is it that we serve the creator, yet cannot carry the faith to see certain things happen? how is it we serve the finisher of time, yet we are terrified of the enemies tactics and shrink back in our faith? it baffles me. i understand that the soul is stained by sin and because of this, in the believer, this arouses turmoil between the desires that god created for humans to experience and the perversion of those through sin."the body lives through the soul and it is the soul by which we enjoy god." sin is the impurity that corrupts not just abruptly but also we can find the stain taking more prevalence over time. commonly we think of the initial toll of sin in our lives and there is no need to discuss this further, but even then the "long haul," the individual who has given themselves to a particular sin for so long can have major consequences, obviously. "the impact of sin on the human soul has been the primary concern of the shepherds of the church, whose responsibility it was to offer instruction, guidance and care." and as i was reading i came across a "startling discovery" as they would say on forensic files. confession of sin in the early church was a huge deal, huge meaning public, openly, in front of everyone. how embarrassing? the didache written one generation after the close of the new testament, instructed the church to gather on the Lord's day to "confess your sins, and not approach prayer with a bad conscience" to "break bread and give thanks, first confessing sins so that your sacrifice may be pure." this changed gradually, as confession was beginning to be seen as an ailment in the body. no one would go around telling people they had this or that, nor would i. but confession then was beginning to be done only to those who seemed as though they could help, like a doctor for an infirmity in the body. pope leo the great, in the fifth century, made it official that confession should only be made to a priest. he felt that public confession was dangerous, and "many would avoid penance if public confession was required." this made it all clear to me and exposed the enemy in a new light.
the early church had a different mind set, of course. the idea was you ARE tainted with sin so come to church to get rid of it before god and others. the church of today has a different approach, whereas the early church carried the notion that man was tainted and had the "come as you are mentality." in today's church i dare say that the church doesn't address this regularly because there is an overwhelming feeling of "i am good enough, i don't need this" or "i don't go to church cause i am not perfect." for many i am concerned that they don't go to church cause the feeling of inadequacy is so overwhelming. this shouldn't be so. this is not created by the one feeling overwhelmed. this is created by the one attending church.
things need to change, but not out of fear. i hate when changes are made because an individual fears something else, the repercussions, the consequences, or whatever. this doesn't eliminate the problem but rather creates a new one. the church is made irrelevant not by imperfect men, but by the lack of faith the christian man has. a lacking faith shrinks back into nothing. satan can use this nothing more than you think. in turn you too will begin to believe that your faith in christ is irrelevant. to me, my faith is everything. believing in christ for a miracle, for a bill to be paid, for a song to be written, for my cars to work, believing in him is everything. and as long it is is everything to you it CANNOT be irrelevant. make your stand, in faith, that you are no better than the hookers on harry hines, or the cheaters in the gentlemen's clubs, in terms of deserved soul destination. this imperfection doesn't exclude their need for church anymore than it excludes your need for church. make confession a daily part of your life, make it so loud in your actions that is leads others to confess. we are all in need of a savior. since the early church was closest to understanding the meaning of the first law i will assume they grasped the concept the best.
we need jesus more than anything in this world.