Many churches don’t have a robust theology that accounts for those who live with experiences of mental illness. Rev. Alba Onofrio, spiritual strategist at LGBTQ justice oriented Soulforce, said that salvation-focused strains of Christianity — like evangelicalism, which emphasizes “tests of faith” on the way to being “born again” into a sinless life — don’t leave much room for “a good answer for why good, believing Christians still suffer so much from illness.”
“Some say it’s a test, being put through the fire; some … remind us that ‘God never gives us more than we can handle.’ Both of these, quite frankly, are crap,” Onofrio said. “I don’t believe God gives us mental illness or cancer or any other suffering as a test of our faith or a punishment for the lack thereof. And I know from the incredibly high statistics of suicide among certain marginalized communities that some times we are absolutely faced with more than we have tools to handle.”
The bottom line, Onofrio said, is that illnesses and disabilities don’t fit in to mainstream theologies. Because of this, Christian ethics and moral imagination often diminish people who live with experiences of mental illness.
Read the entire article: The Silent Stigma of Mental Illness in the Church | Sojourners