Prozac Christians: Has Jesus Been Replaced With a Substitute?
It’s become common knowledge that the 60 percent divorce rate inside the church -- a place that upholds the sanctity of marriage -- is higher than in secular society.
But failed marriages and broken homes are not the only tragedies that Christians share with the rest of the world. Depression, a recent epidemic in the church, is spreading throughout the Christian community. During a recent visit to my hometown in North Carolina, I spent the afternoon with a friend’s mother. We talked about the issues many women face at the large Southern Baptist church where I grew up. She spoke of the different women she knows who take anti-depressants.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that half the women in the church are on anti-depressants,” she said.
I was shocked. She told me story after story about women she knew who have strong faith and selflessly serve in the congregation but are also prescribed Prozac and other common depression medication. I realized that I also knew several women, my friends and my mother’s friends, who use anti-depressants.
But for Christians, the issue goes beyond the safety of the medication. The question that needs to be asked is “why?!” Christians claim the truth from the hymn “Power in the Blood” and the Apostle John’s concept of “abundant life". But why are they caught up in an emotional existence of mere survival? The church is supposed to be the place to find the answer, the cure, Jesus. Instead, it has become a social gathering of sedated spiritualists lining the pews. They dress neatly, implying a sense of togetherness, and they sing songs that describe surrender to their God that they didn’t naturally wake up experiencing (Jessica Dorian, “The Standard Report,“ 2004).