My eyes were caught by some of the thought-
themes in your post. I thought I'd break my
own response into pieces, so that it would be
easier to follow. This is long, but each piece, I
think, is a good thought to share.
So, please enjoy a walk with a friend through
the woods... and forgive her for meandering....
1. Do we need to discern between
major and minor disorders?
I think we do need to discern the difference
between minor and major disorders, allow
ourselves to provide comfort and healing to
those with minor disorders, and then lead our
friends to others that can assist with major
I base this approach on the Parable of the Good
Samaritan. Remember that the Samaritan
provided short-term care, and then left the
wounded one with an "Inn Keeper". Two-
person teams for healing are sometimes the
best way to go - minor disorders to lay persons,
and major disorders to the professionals. The
two-person approach is hidden right there - in
plain view - when Jesus redefined "love your
neighbor as yourself" for all time in Luke chapter
10, Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Let's add to this concept of minor/major the
three dimensions of "spirit, soul, and body". The
"May God himself, the God of peace,
sanctify you through and through. May your
whole spirit, soul and body be kept
blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ." [I Thessalonians 5:23]
Let's combine these two concepts (minor/major
disorders and the three dimensions) and give
examples for the physical, spiritual, and mental
- Physical dimension. For example,
someone comes to me, and says, "I have
such a headache today." I listen, and reply,
"Ah, I think this is a minor physical disorder
-- here, let me offer you some aspirin from
my purse." On the other hand, someone
comes to me and says, "Caryn, this lump on
my breast is getting larger and has me
worried, what do you think?" And I will
reply, "Hon, I love you, but this is a major
physical disorder and way beyond my
expertise. We should go see a medical
Anyone can handle a minor physical
disorder. But a major physical disorder
goes to a doctor, not to a Caryn, right?
- Spiritual Dimension. Now, let's try spiritual
disorders. For example, someone comes to
me and says, "I am so worried about a
layoff at work, what should I do?" I listen,
and give her a hug. I think this is a minor
spiritual disorder called "worry", and say, "I
can pray about it for you, k?" Maybe we
pray then, or I pray later. Maybe we talk
about the subject of 'worry' and about God
providing for the sparrow. But this disorder
seems minor, and I think 'worry' is within
my area of expertise as a believer in Christ.
Now, let's say that my co-worker says, "I
hate my father! I cannot stand him! I often
dream about revenge... and I am a
Christian." Gosh... something in this
screams out "major spiritual disorder" --
and so, I reply, "Why don't we go talk to a
pastor about forgiveness, and the
hate/love continuum....because it is most
often that forgiveness really moves you
more towards love...."
I may even talk about the parable of
forgiveness in Matthew 18, and how that
when you cannot forgive, you are turned
over to the 'tormentors'. Not a nice
parable, but really, the one that cannot
forgive is the one that is tormented, isn't
that so true?
Anyone can work with a friend's minor
spiritual disorder, right? A hug, a prayer, a
lot of listening, are all like sharing aspirin.
But, a major spiritual disorder goes to a
pastor, or a spirit-led full-time counselor,
not to a Caryn, right?
- Psychological/Mental Dimension. So, now
we come to mental disorders. Let's say
someone comes to me and says, "Caryn! I
am a collector of plates! I heard through
the grapevine that you are a plate
collector!" I would laugh, and smile, and tell
her about our collections - both good and
bad ones, ones that we liked for no reason,
and ones that actually have some minor
value. You see, a minor disorder (such as
collecting stuff that has no purpose other
than emotional gratification), needs
"sharing". Then, because I share about my
collecting... no one feels abnormal, and my
and my friend's plate collections stay in
But what if she said, "I collect plates too! In
fact, I spent my entire check on five Chinese
plates, and my husband was furious... but,
really, it is so wonderful... and I think about
it all the time... I even got in trouble at work
for reading an antique collecting magazine
during a major business meeting...." At that
point, a light goes off in my head. Maybe,
just maybe, this is not a minor disorder....
maybe, just maybe, this is something that
controls my friend..... Then, I tell her about
my counselor, a LCSW, and talk about
discussing many personal issues with my
counselor... why? In order to move the
conversation to, "Have you thought about
discussing your need-to-collect with a
A major mental disorder goes to a licensed
counselor, not to a Caryn.
2. Who gets first shot at helping
someone with a major mental
I think, a major mental disorder goes first only
to a licensed counselor, and never first to a
doctor nor to a pastor. True, a counselor can
refer you to a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist,
or a pastor, but you start with the person that
has mental disorder expertise.
I don't let my mechanic work on my sick dog....
she doesn't need a few pats on the back and
won't get better riding in his hot (oh yesssss)
car. My dog needs a highly-trained 'vet' and
Many pastors are not trained in recognizing
mental disorders. Indeed, many assume
expertise that they simply do not have. My own
pastor strongly implied that all medical and
psychological advice was useless to someone
with GID -- all I needed was a spiritual response
called "repent and be delivered by God". Uh...
My pastor was the most sincere mechanic that
this sick dog (me) could have gone to... he gave
me a few insulting pats on the back, and didn't
even offer to pray with me... and gosh, he really
has an ugly car, come to think of it... but really,
what a dumb, stupid choice I made by going to
him for GID.
Going to a pastor for GID is like going to a
mechanic for brain surgery -- you may
survive, but you sure won't be at full
functioning for a good bit of time.....
3. What is the emphasis that the
Bible places on mental disorders,
Well... yanno.... God inspired a lot of writing in
that there Bible of His....
Let's take a silly test, k? Really, this is dumb, but
fun for a moment.
- List the number of times the Bible talks
about "mercy". gosh... a zillion or two.
- List the number of times the Bible talks
about men or women that wear the clothing
of the opposite sex. Ouch... maybe, just
maybe, one whole verse?
Geee, lemme think... give me some space here,
yanno.... stand back as I realize... the light is
going on and babes, it is sooooo bright.....maybe
someone that engages in lack of mercy has a
minor or major SPIRITUAL disorder... Wow!
Maybe that is why "mercy" is all over the Bible!
Yes! That sounds right! After all, the Bible is
God's spiritual text book for the spiritually
Hey, waitaminuteortwo....but there is only one
verse on TG-anything? Ummmmm... maybe God
was embarrassed to write about it... checking...
Whoa! You can't do WHAT with animals!!!
And what is this about the foreigners having
huge lower tools that Israel became a
whore for?.... hey... what is that x-rated
stuff doing in the Good Book????
OK, God is not embarrassed about writing
about anything......in fact, He's blunt and
can turn me red with embarrassment....
and I am soooo glad my kids never asked
me about those verses about proof of
Well, if God is not embarrassed to write about
anything with Spiritual implications... then God is
not embarrassed about TG-anything! Yes, got
it! But then maybe, gosh, just maybe, someone
that engages in transgenderism is simply NOT
exhibiting a spiritual disorder, but is
demonstrating a medical or psychological
After all, God gave us so little SPIRITUAL advice
on TG-anything.... and God is normally silent for
a reason.... Wow... maybe God has left the
treatment of physical and psychological
disorders to spiritual or non-spiritual, but gifted
and studied, men and women.... really.
So, TG-anything is not a spiritual disorder.
Oh, it has spiritual effects, but it is rooted
and grounded in something that is other-
4. When does something become a
major mental disorder from a lay
Well, this is Caryn's perspective, really. So then,
in Caryn's mind, what is a major mental
disorder? It's when the disorder owns you, and
you are its slave. It controls you, and directs the
order of your life. It permeates almost
everything, and filters your view of the world
not with pretty colors, but like dark ugly lenses.
And, when you wish to stop it, the disorder spits
in your face, and bursts through any boundaries
you attempt to give it.
A major mental disorder is not a lust, a
temptation, a required physical need, nor a
"choice". There is such a quick pattern of
response in a mental disorder that you swear
there is no way to stop it. In fact, it seems to
have a life of its own... so much so, that many
Christians with bi-polarism, transgenderism, or
chronic depression, will ask the elders of a
church to cast out a 'demon'.
It is not a demon; it is a disorder.
Indeed, some disorders become part of the
human pattern of what is defined as "normal" in
that individual's life. Some are treatable but not
curable. Many mental disorders become part of
the fabric of your life, and you swear that you
'married' them, as they are with you for "better
or worse". Some have genetic patterns; some
have environment patterns; the cause of most is
Some mental disorders have pluses... really... a
manic phase in someone that is bi-polar can
include a high performance phase, and then... a
reckless phase... and then... a crash. But, they
can write, or compose, or create during that
high performance phase.
But babes, the bottom line is that the disorder
owns you, and you are its slave, perhaps for life.
5. Let's look at the "wine for elders"
"An elder must not be given to drunkenness...
Deacons, likewise, are to be ... not indulging in
much wine." [I Timothy 3] Interesting verse in
the Bible, isn't it?
There are many "wines" in our current culture --
TV watching to kill boredom; reading books to
get lost in fantasy; over-working at the office;
rum in the refrigerator; over-spending on
clothes I truly do not need; romance novels for
women and pornography for men; excess food
to help me feel 'comfort'. Some wine is good in
life, because it kills the pain. The Spirit realized
this, and hence, even spiritual elders and decons
are allowed "some" wine.
But the wine cannot control them. They cannot
become known for being "given to drunkeness".
Indeed, the cycle of guilt, shame, and hiding can
cause the drive for even more pain-killer, and a
downward spiral begins.... but the elder is not
known for the downward spiral, but for his/her
ability to walk away from the spiral. That is why
they are an "elder" -- not because they abstain
from all forms of pain-killers, but because they
are not a slave to the pain-killer.
So, let's take this scripture over to our world for
TG-anything, causes a lot of pain at certain
points in a man or woman's life. The use of
education as a pain-killer may seem
obsessive/compulsive; but if I can put the
computer down when Bon says she'd like to
talk, then, I am controlling the wine, and it
is not controlling me.
Perhaps... because of the pervasive nature
of GID, and how it creates a filter for our
minds that is so incredibly a "newer" color,
perhaps we use any number of
Christianized pain-killers -- such as over-
volunteering at church, or repetitive fasting
and prayer. But, it is not
obsessive/compulsive, if the person with
GID can walk away from the volunteer
schedule, stop the fasting every third day
when it threatens his/her health, and
abandon the 5AM prayer cell, when needing
to attend to other parts of their life.
Obsessive/compulsive is a major disorder,
because (as I use the term), the O/C disorder
owns you. And yes, I'll be happy to walk you
down the path to the "Inn Keeper", and maybe
even help to pay his fee for you.
Because major mental disorders, like O/CD
and GID, are for the professional
counselors, and not for a Caryn.
6. So, what do the woods look like
now that you've meandered through
them with me?
Oh, they are green this time of year. Really.
Thanks for the long walk. <<<hugs!>>>
Much love in Christ always and unconditionally;
(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
|The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
Major & Minor Disorders
The yahoo group that I am part
of, TG-Christians, brought up
some interesting points.
One thought-theme about
caught my attention and caused
me to write this reply, on Major &
Do be forewarned that one
section includes 'irony', that is, a
view that emphasizes a 'gap'
between what is seen and what is
anticipated, and uses self-inflicted
humor to give the message a bit
Oh, and irony simply is not for
everyone. <soft smile>
Major & Minor
|In Deepest Sympathy -
Poetry for those that grieve
|Building Faith, Hope, & Love -
Stories and Writings
|A Cup Of Cold Water -
Letters For The Thirsty
|A Pause In The Forest -
Poetry for thoughtful moments