Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In her book, Laughing in the Dark, Christian comedian Chonda Pierce recalls her experience with depression. In 2004 Pierce was diagnosed with clinical depression and was admitted into a clinic for two months. She described this time as a humbling experience in which she had to honestly confront her emotions in group therapy, learn proper self-care (regulating sleep patterns and work schedules), and where she had to learn deeper levels of trust with God. Also, during this experience Pierce’s faith was examined as she was faced with questions such as “Am I truly relying on God if I am taking medication such as anti-depressants?” She finally came to the conclusion that medication was one of the ways in which God could bring about His healing in her life. Pierce is once again doing comedy and shares her testimony wherever she goes.

In class, we recently finished reading the book The Bondage Breaker. In this book Neil Anderson talks about how one can overcome negative thoughts, irrational feelings, and habitual sin. In one of the last chapters in his book he lays out “Steps to Freedom in Christ.” This plan takes a person through 7 steps of freedom, listing out various negative acts or thoughts that one should renounce and then has them claim biblical truth. The purpose of this is to bring freedom from bondage.

After watching some of Chonda Pierce’s videos the other night about her story with depression, I thought of Anderson. I wondered if Anderson would have seen the solution to Pierce’s problem as simple as going through the 7 steps to freedom in Christ. Rightly so, Christians should believe and trust God for their healing, but can all healing come about by renouncing sin? I have personally encountered several Christians who see every issue as being able to be solved with an appropriate Scripture verse and several steps to freedom. I guess my question is, “Is it always that simple?”

I understand that people argue for biblical sufficiency within counseling, and as mentioned before I am for integrating my faith. However, there are times as Chonda Pierce mentioned where, as Christians, you do not need another Scripture verse or another plan of how to be set free; for her she allowed God to heal her through different means such as: honesty, time, and medication. Therefore, in answer to my own question, I don’t think solutions are simple. Each situation requires knowing the individual person and their situation, and treating them in a holistic manner- attending to their mind, soul, body, and spirit.

Watch Chonda Pierce's interview with CBN about her experience here.


  1. Great post! I think you bring up a good point that a lot of other believers struggle with as well. Am I really depending on God if I'm relying on other things for help? That's a really tough question and, like you said, there really is no easy answer. I definitely think that it is important to seek Godly counsel through the process, but as you stated, throwing scripture on a significant issue like hers is kind of like throwing a band-aid on a broken arm. It's the right idea...but you need to set the arm first.

  2. I agree with what you say in regards to oversimplifying issues into mere "sin" is not effective. I do not think that Anderson would either though. Anderson does not advocate that all issues are a result of sin. In fact, what I appreciated about bondage breaker was how Anderson states that there is never time that the spiritual is separated from the psychological. ( Bondage breaker, point 3, p21). Anderson does believe sin is a problem, but it more how sin skews our view of reality that causes the issues. I hope that makes sense. Chapter 4 of Bondage breaker explains how Anderson sees people as thinking incorrectly because of sin. So, I dont think Anderson would say, "get your sins forgiven and renounce them and you will be fine." i feel he would say " you need to get your sins forgiven and renounce them AND look at life through this Biblical lens of acceptance and freedom in Christ."
    That is quite a simplistic explanation, but I heard Anderson speak last night and I feel like he had so much more to offer than simply "sin is your issue".


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