For years, considerations of a spiritual disease have percolated my mind. There is a disease so widespread, covert and mentality dominating that you may be reading these words right now, and not even know that you have Spiritual Schizophrenia.
Spiritual Schizophrenia (SS) or spirituo-ideological insanity is found in some Christians. It is characterised by disorganized thought, speech and/or action which portrays an effort to hold two mutually exclusive worldviews, mainly the Christian worldview and the secular worldview. These patterns of thinking are diametrically opposed, leading to dramatically different behaviours and social outcomes.
The Christian worldview for instance states that there is a God, he formed the Earth and everything in it, made humans male and female, made truth absolute and so decides what is right and wrong. The secular worldview holds to evolutionary theory, that nothing created everything, humans can be any of over a hundred genders, truth is absolutely not absolute and so, right and wrong are irrelevant and fluid social constructs.
Alarmingly common, this mostly western and modern epidemic transcends race, class and denominational barriers. These persons attempt to hold, in unison, beliefs which are incongruent, paradoxical and immiscible, meaning they cannot be mixed!
I will describe for you three types: Simple Spiritual Schizophrenia, where one alternates between one and the other; Parasitic Spiritual Schizophrenia, where one claims to be a Christian and holds beliefs in line with the secular worldview; and thirdly, Stress Induced Spiritual Schizophrenia where social pressure unearths the abandonment of biblical values for secular ones.
Simple Spiritual Schizophrenia or SSS, is seen in someone with a persistent and pervasive disorganized thought pattern regarding Christianity. Instead of a lifestyle, this person may consider Christianity to be a hat. Strange enough, he or she believes that this hat should occupy the identity on a Sunday (most times limited to the morning), and on any weekday where one’s foot touches the physical compound of the church for any reason. When this person is at work however, the speech, thinking and behaviour are dramatically different, so different in fact that they could be considered different people.
A gentleman with SSE believes opposite things on different days of the week. On Sunday, for example, he believes fornication is wrong because the Bible says so. But on Monday he believes it’s ok, and people can do whatever they want to do free of accountability or consequence. On deeper examination he may betray that he does not believe in absolute truth, except maybe on a Sunday!
This person typically enjoys being liked, may give a joke, laugh or smile uncomfortably when confronted with this information, as the pathology of their disease is based on an interplay between poor theological grounding and people pleasing. The avoidance of confrontation may be what allows a believer to exhibit behaviours in keeping with SS for decades without being noticed. If put on the stand though, they are likely to display features of stress induced spiritual schizophrenia, especially if they perceive their audience holds secular beliefs.
Parasitic Spiritual Schizophrenia or PSS is seen in persons who not only exhibit thought patterns regarding Christianity which are incongruent with reality, they take it a step further to teach that this incongruence and irrational thinking is perfectly in line with Christianity. They express faith in Christ, but do not believe what the Bible says concerning one or more of the following: creation, right or wrong, humans and the two genders or the absolute nature of truth.
The diagnosis can be made if on any issue where the Christian worldview and the secular worldview are opposed to each other (such as homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, masturbation etc), the believer selects the secular worldview and proceeds to teach this to his or her congregation or followers and or engage in public advocacy, making statements in the media which falsely promote the secular position on these issues to be a Christian one. Persons may continue to consider these individuals to be spiritually healthy as they may be accurate or even profound on any or every theological matter where the Christian and secular worldview are not in conflict, such as poverty, crime, spiritual gifts, forgiveness and greed.
Classically the definition of love is distorted in this disease, to include allowing a person to persist in sin and hurt themselves because one ‘loves’ them. Someone with PSS believes that they have the ability to convert an evil act into a good act through the use of emotions or emotional appeal. The biblical worldview on love is delineated by the statement in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 6 which states emphatically that “love does not rejoice in evil”.
PSS is so named because the pathological and irrational ideology occupies the body of a believer, possibly a pastor or thought leader, with the spiritual death of the believer being delayed to allow for ideological transfer and propagation to take place. PSS is by definition severe and difficult to treat, spiritual death is certainly not uncommon, but may still go unnoticed.
Stressed Induced Spiritual Schizophrenia (SISS) can be diagnosed where a believer inadvertently speaks publicly in keeping with biblical truth, and in conflict with the secular worldview, and after social backlash apologizes for their biblical stance. This apology usually includes overtones of fake tolerance where the believer apologizes for offending persons and claims the need to educate themselves further.
In June 2019, Mario Lopez, a Christian and Hollywood actor, appeared on Candace Owens Show. He stated, "If you're 3 years old and you're saying you're feeling a certain way or you think you're a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make this determination". After coming under pressure he apologized saying, “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were”… this is typical of SISS.
Do you or a loved one have Spiritual Schizophrenia? If so, don’t worry, my next article will discuss possible avenues for treatment.
Dr. Daniel Thomas is a medical doctor and Christian advocate who loves the Lord deeply. He currently leads a youth organization called the Love March Movement which is committed to empowering the youth to fight for sexual purity and the family in Jamaica.